The great thing about traveling alone as a foreigner is that people are much more inclined to approach you. I meet so many people in one day that I do not have the chance to be alone. Although, the conversation usually starts off with one question and there are only so many different ways of answering, which repeats itself as:
"Where are you from?" Canada. "Oh, a very nice city!" Have you been? "No. Where do you go next?" Malaysia, Melaka first. "You'll love it! Alone?" Yes. "You are very brave!" and then the next comment has been 50/50 between, being very careful there and it's very safe for travellers, so I'm going to trust the second, but keep a strong hold on my wallet.
But I am starting to cherish these little chats because each person has a unique conversation within them, ít's just spending that extra minute or so to get to it. Today, I started at the MICA building to take a look at some galleries of local artists. One girl helped me locate on my map every single gallery I intend to visit. The next guy commented that he did not have the patience to paint for more than 5 seconds, but admires the artists who work 12 hours a day standing on their feet. He gave me 2 books on Indonesian art and asked me to comment on his graphic design skills (uh...). Then referred me to Art Seasons gallery which I hadn't heard of and came across 2 new painters I admire. After taking my order I realized the friendly sandwich guy was plastered all over the wall in reviews from various papers. His chicken pot pies are famous, I must go back to try one! Hong was my personal tour guide at the Asian Civilizations Museum. I was his first tour group! And then Prince (really!) from Nigeria insisted that I buy a cell phone so that I have a number for him to call. Nice try! The woman at the Taiwanese restaurant insisted I get the Oyster Vermiccilli soup and not the chicken curry (you can get that anywhere). "Is it good?" Yes! Except for the occasional mucousy-like clumps. And one of the hostel upkeepers was trying to fix the broken air conditioner. If I stay in the room, I'll get $2 off each day it's not working! So those are my encounters for the day. More to come. P