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Old 07-06-2003, 07:11 PM   #1
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When people meet someone from another country, especially from over seas, there is interest and intrigue of that place. What are the customs, food, transport, politics...all kinds of topics that can create endless conversations. When someone talks to you, enjoy their company, a chit chat over tea or coffee in a cafe could turn into an invitation to the persons home for dinner with the family, and maybe a free nights sleep. Show interest in what peoples lives are about, what they do and what they are about. It is amazing the hospitality that people will show a guest from another country.

this will not happen everytime by any strech, but it could and has happened. just don't be paranoid of all the strangers you meet, and show interest.

( If you think that something is not right about the situation, then don't do it, keep the conversation at the place you met and leave it at that.)

this type of thing is not for everyone, but its a great way to soak in the home culture.
"The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them." Confucius
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Old 07-07-2003, 02:40 AM   #2
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Meeting the locals will make your trip unique on many levels. You just never really know what you may be in for.
A friend came to Madrid to visit me last year and we went cruisin through the streets of Madrid with the Danish girl (the girl mentioned in my travel story that I met at a park 3 years ago). She has lived in Madrid 2 1/2 yrs at this point and had lots of quirky places that she took us to.
One day all of us went to this hidden Hari Krishna place because, precisely at 3:20pm they served a really good vegetarian lunch with huge portions for $3! So here we are, all early, so we go downstairs with shoes our off, sitting down with our legs crossed, and chanting the Hari Krishna thing?! What a funky experience and the lunch was great! Afterwards, in the evening, she took us to a friends going away party at some big apartment in a hip part of town filled with tons of Spanish, Germans, Italians, French, international mix indeed! My friend, a writer on "Yes Dear" a tv popular comedy here, told me that it was his all time best backpacking day- ever! Those are the days that youŽll remember forever. A cheap yet awesome day! It was definitely unique and an "off the beaten" path kind of day that most tourist will never get to experience anything of the sort, unless you go out there and start macking with the locals! Locals know where the hidden gems are, so start probing-

IŽve gone back to the Hari Krishna place with her for cheap eats several times, and had a great time each time. Who would of ever thought :D !?
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