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A Cultural Exchange, Time to Enjoy the Company of Others

Eilidh Milnes

Big Ben Clock

Allow time for serendipitous conversations with strangers, enjoy the company of others

A Cultural Exchange

As the stranger put on her hat, I smiled saying "Sehr hubsch!" And the stranger smiled back, happy with the compliment. "Vielen Dank," she replied with a laugh.

"Are you going to the airport?" she responded in English. "If so you're on the wrong section of the train; you need to be in the rear carriages!" Now we'd just spent a fabulous day exploring Munich then met friends for a final treat of German hospitality - great wine, beer and a Bavarian specialty, pork shank. We were running on a very tight schedule to make our connection and had completely forgotten that the airport train divided! 

We got to the flight check-in with just 10 minutes to spare and in my book that is too close for comfort. Fortunately as frequent fliers we had little luggage, all our documents to hand and armed with magic smiles and politeness we moved speedily through security.

What's your MO?

Travelling the globe as I do, I'm constantly reminded of how kind and helpful people are; as it is really thanks to the lady with the hat and to my ability to communicate with confidence that we made our return flight to UK. That chance chit chat guaranteed that we made our flight on time; it kind of stopped the clock.

People work with different time scales and methods, you also have cultural and age related differences. Generation Y for example tends to work very much more up to the wire. Perhaps for them it is part of the fun and an adrenalin kick. 

For me, last minute it is verging on stressful and does not allow for the unforeseen. I wonder what your preferred modus operandi is... Whichever method suits you better, I wish you well on your travels through 2012. In the meantime...

Tips for an memorable month:

  • Allow regular time to savour the company of others,
  • Schedule farewell meals, business buffets and sip something special with people whose company inspires you,
  • And factor in extra time for serendipitous conversations with strangers. It could make all the difference!
  • Et Bon Voyage!
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