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Just a little story from Africa

Travel Forums General Talk Just a little story from Africa

1. Posted by travelingclatt (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

Yes I know Zambia is a country and Miami is a city :) Well I had a little story that I'd love to share with you all and also bring up a question at the end and hear what you think. So recently I took a 13 day trip through the southernmost part of Africa. I traveled with 7 others through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and finally South Africa. While exploring this amazing continent I could not help but notice a major difference in the personalities of the people there. Living in the big city of Miami we get many different cultures and races of people living here, but with all the amazing diversity that exits here, something is missing. That is the quality of being "human". People seem to stay in their own bubble when there are more people around. Which seems bizarre because you would think with a larger selection of humans to interact with, we pick a few and mostly never stray away from them. Forward to Africa. My group and I were on the Kazungula ferry to Botswana crossing through the Chobe River when a man dressed in a dark grey hoodie asked me where I'm from. Out of the blue while I was talking to someone from my group, a complete stranger decided to ask me where I am from. I was taken back. Even though I accepted the fact that I was visiting a different country with different morals and social standards, I took me a moment to gather my thoughts and process the fact that someone I did not know was trying to contact me through my bubble. Miami I answered as if it were no big deal to me. From there a casual conversation about art and rap music from the US ensued, and while to the man it seemed like a normal conversation and as much as I played it off as being a nonchalant interaction. In my head I was amazed. This man just wanted to speak to me for no other reason than to speak to me. Not because of my skin color, my clothes, or the several hundred dollars of camera equipment I was lugging around with me. Just for the sake of kicking it back on a crocodile and hippopotamus infested river and talking. It took me 8000 miles to realize that my bubble had been bursted. In my city people are looked at strangely if they hold a door open for a stranger or offer to help a stranger with their groceries. Not even in the thought of inconveniencing them, but strictly because of the fact that they do not know them. The same traits from Africa carried over to Costa Rica in remote locations in both countries people were happy to converse for the sake of conversing. The biggest thought that ran through my head was that these people that I talked to some in large countries some in small, lived in locations I might never visit again and on the off chance that I do the odds of seeing them again is absolutely minuscule. And the fact that I knew I would never see them again is beautiful.
And with that I leave you with a question. Why do you think it is that way? I could imagine the same traits from Miami carry through to New York, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, London, and etc.
What are your thought on this I'de love to know. -The Traveling Clatt

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2455 posts) 2y

I must admit, your post makes no sense to me. I have conversations with locals all over the world in every situation imaginable. It's completely and utterly normal.

Thinking that it's odd that you could have a conversation with a stranger is incomprehensible to me.

Happy travels.

Cheers,
Terry

3. Posted by Borisborough (Respected Member 458 posts) 2y

I have to say, I'm with Terry on this - there's something missing if you travel to foreign places just to see the sights and not to interact with the locals.

And I also find it a bit strange that residents of Miami don't talk to each other. It would be very odd if a stranger on a bus in Yorkshire wasn't engaged in friendly conversation by several of the locals while they go about their business and even here in Auckland (a city of a million and a half) we regularly hold doors open for others, help people carry things or pick up things they've dropped. I think you're putting me off visiting Miami! :(