July 31, 2020

Why are you acting like we don’t already know each other?

Clare Louise Roberts


I have friends from traveling in hostels. Getting to know people is one of the greatest gifts of life; when we realise that we all are connected in our humanity. Not all meetings turn into deep friendship and not everyone is always interested in this. Staying in one hostel, witnessing the artificial introductions in the common room where the initiator was going from person to person, interested only in ‘your country of origin – where are you traveling to next – end of conversation’ was frustrating to me and as I sat in the corner eavesdropping over my book, I knew I was next. I couldn’t stand the triviality even in this small talk. What do they want from me? I’d had days of these encounters and I was drained of it. I had so much I wanted to say to those questions but they weren’t simple answers. So I politely made an excuse to return to the room of people upstairs who wanted to know not just where we’re going next, but what we’d seen and how it had changed us. I told my friend about the encounter downstairs, who didn’t understand my frustration. Maybe I was being ridiculous?