The Middle Seat

The inspiration for this post came from the masterminds of The Daily Post.

The prompt states: It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Being a new permanent resident in a city I wandered as a tourist for approximately five months, I actually have been the “very, very chatty tourist” before. I’ve received a plethora of reactions—most have been friendly. (DC tends to be a very friendly city. If I were a tourist in New York, people would not be as kind—as I noticed this past Friday.)

I’ve been searching for new friends, for new people to hang out with. I moved to a city where I barely know anyone. I know the people I work with, a few former classmates from college, and a couple friends from high school. But that’s it. You can’t really have a big social life when you’ve got just a handful of friends.

I’ve always been big into socializing. I’m a very social creature—when I know you. If I don’t, I’m nearly a recluse. I’m very shy at first, and once I know you then things are a little better. Knowing nearly nobody in a new city, it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and talk to people you wouldn’t normally. I’ve gotten better, but I’m nowhere near where I want to be. Someday, I’ll have friends outside those I work with (although I LOVE my work friends dearly) and be able to truly feel like I’m a piece of DC.

Are there ways you’d recommend to meet new people? Have you had any successes with talking to people on transportation or as I like to do—in bars?

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