Everyone’s a stranger until you give them a chance, man

It’s probably because I watched too many sitcoms and romantic comedies but I’ve always been slightly disappointed that you don’t often strike up conversation with a random stranger, at least I don’t, unless I’ve got a few pints in me, at which point I’ll have a chinwag with pretty much anyone.

But sober I’m very British about it, and avoid conversing with pretty much everyone. I will quite happily sit in Costa or a pub and get my Kindle out, or pretend to text people while waiting for someone. Anything rather than make eye contact with anyone else.

That being said, I found it quite charming that a bar in Mumbai has started a new “Share Your Table” scheme to encourage socializing and stop everyone phubbing each other.

Phubbing bothers me, it might be that I’m getting old and not in touch with how the kids do things, or maybe just owning a rubbish phone means I don’t engage in it as much as other people do, but I don’t get it.


If I get a text, I’ll glance to see who it’s from but I’ll wait until they go to the bar to check it and respond. Otherwise it just feels rude.

I’ve seen folks sitting at tables with them all texting and looking at their phone, it would drive me mad. When I’m with my mates we just chat away, usually talking bollocks, but that’s what you do isn’t it?

Anyway, the idea is simple, if you’re sat on your tod and fancy having a chat you flip this little flag up to signal that you’re open for people to approach and join you at your table. And then someone else can wander over, ask if they can join you and away you go, making a new friend. Or an acquaintance at least.


I like the idea, the flags mean that the person approaching doesn’t feel like they’re intruding and anyone who wants to sit there in isolation can continue to do so.

Pretty neat. But I’m not sure it’d work over here in Britain, I think we quite like being on our own. But still, it’d be nice to have the option.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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