Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I just came back from Just Breathe, the great blog by Debby, and reading her post reminded me of two episodes where I asked perfect (and quite scary looking) strangers the why-question. And I thought I would tell you. For no other reason than it being my day off today...

The first trip of my second season as a proper coach driver found me in Germany, visiting the old East German cities of Dresden, Weimar and Leipzig. On our last day in Germany we visited Leipzig and after a tour of the city in the coach, everybody was free to do what they wanted until I picked them up again to go back to the hotel. The weather was nice and I went out to see a bit of the city as well. I know I have to go back there, because I mainly looked up. But when I didn't look up, I couldn't help but notice a lot of people dressed in black. Heavy make-up for both men and women (black and white), long black leather coats (I love those) and on one occasion even a pair of black crutches!

I got back to the station where my coach was parked and finally decided to ask someone. I approached a woman with the most beautiful black hair and asked her in German: 'Excuse me, can you tell me why everybody is dressed in black.' He turned around and told me he didn't speak German but English. So, I asked again (this time in English of course) why everybody was dressed in black. He told me that ever since the wall fell (the events leading up to that actually started in Leipzig), there had been an annual Gothic festival in Leipzig. He had come all the way from Australia to be a part of it! He was so nice and friendly and willing to tell me all about it. The only thing was: he had better looking hair than I did...

My second outing with strange and possibly even scary looking people came a few years later. Again I was on a trip abroad, this time to Ireland. And while we were waiting for our ferry in Holyhead (Wales), we saw a couple of bikers with the most shocking colour hair: bright green! We (me and my passengers) all had some theories as to why their hair was green, but in the end I just decided to go and ask them. This time I didn't confuse the him for a her and asked the him of the couple in German why their hair was so shockingly green.

Again this gentleman was perfectly nice and friendly. He told me that the first time they had ever travelled to Ireland, they had had their hair dyed. When they went back the year after, they decided to do that again and they had kept doing it every time they went to Ireland. This was their fifth or sixth time and they had had their hair dyed in all different colours, this year it was green. And they hadn't even thought about Ireland at the time (where green is something of the national colour).

I have found that if you have a genuine interest in people and their stories, they will help you out, answer any questions you might have and be perfectly nice and friendly!


  1. I went to see Marilyn Manson at the Mayhem Festival last year. I was the oldest and most un-goth person there. I had a ball! Everyone was very kind and let me take a zillion photos. And I can't tell you how many times I was referred to as 'Mom'. People are great.

  2. You're so right! It's good advice to just ask if you're curious!

  3. I know, I should have asked that boy about his make-up. I am always so good at asking, really! I see someone crying and I'm asking them what happened, if I can help them.
    Next time I see him I will ask.

  4. Almost everyone likes to talk about themselves. but not bloggers, of course.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!