Sunday, August 12, 2007

The urge to talk

We took the girls swimming at one point today, and the man was there as well. I thought it would be a great chance for the two of us to hang out and chat while we watched the girls imitate fish. There was, however, a lady sitting next to us who had a two week old baby; so adorable and so tiny and so astonishing.

She seemed to need to talk to someone. I said 'hi' and complimented her baby, and we were off, a full hour and a half later we were still chatting away. She did mention that her mother says that she was a chatterbox as a kid, which I can believe, but she also has been home with a newborn and a three year old for two weeks, and just seemed to need someone to talk to.

I remember doing that several times in my life. When my babies were very small, when I had been travelling alone a long time...I remember telling a complete stranger a life changing bit of news while we were waiting in the Mongolian Embassy in Beijing...there was simply no one else to tell, so I told him. I still don't remember his name.

I have also turned up at families house in the middle of a long trip and quite simply talked their ears off. I was even conscious of the fact that I could not stop, but I just couldn't stop talking. They were very kind. Probably a little bored to, but very kind.

I am a more extroverted kind of person, and there are times when I am simply compelled to talk to someone because I simply haven't talked to ANYONE in a while. This serves me well in Spain, it makes learning the language increasingly important.

This woman turned out to be quite fascinating in fact. She had called a friend who also had a three year old and invited them over so that her child could swim. Swimming two weeks after a baby with a two week old along is a little much. The little girl had never been willing to swim on her own before, but this time alongside her friend, and embraced by a lifey and inflatable ring paddled and kicked her way around, and floated over onto her back as well. A very big day.

The woman told me of her childhood growing up in East Africa, and going to the beach but never swimming, only eating and playing. Apparently the only children who were taught to swim were the fishermen's children, or the really naughty children who went and swam anyway. She then said that some of those ones didn't make it.

It was lovely to talk to her. It felt familiar too. She seemed basically pretty happy, just needed to chat.

The man got his back scratched while we chatted which he probably preferred anyway.


Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

I'm guessing that Mr. Anonymous there doesn't mean you, O. Just a wild guess ...

You sound like my mother-in-law, by the way. She's the type who would get ultra-personal information about people within five minutes of meeting them. That's a gift.

oreneta said...


oreneta said...

DD: I am not sure I want to sound like your mother-in-law, isn't she the one who chased you around a beach cutting open the neck of a sweater to convince you to wear it?

I think this happens too frankly, and sometimes it isn't such a gift.

Jose: One of these days....