Beautiful Strangers Become Friends

Today, in downtown Amman, we visited The Roman Amphitheater. What I thought would Downtown Amman, Jordanbe a typical, albeit beautiful, visit turned into an afternoon with friends. But you thought I didn’t know anyone in Jordan, right? Well, I really didn’t but four local girls sat and chatted with me as if they’d known me my entire life. 

If you do know me, and I mean truly know me, you’d know that I’m rather shy and meeting new people causes me distress. I ramble because I don’t know what to say; I shy away from first introductions; I say stupid things; and I assume that I’m not going to meet new people because I find it so difficult to put myself out there, which continues the vicious cycle. As a child, like every child, it was easy to meet new friends. Walk over to the park, sit on a swing, and start talking – you’ve just made a friend for life. Now, though, all that courage is gone. What I’m left with is awkwardness.

I entered the theater and thought about what it would be like to perform on that stage Downtown Amman, Jordanbefore thousands. That’s so much easier than creating conversation with people you first meet. You usually have prepared lines or a speech or something cleaver to say or else you wouldn’t be standing there. I welcomed the thought of being part of a Shakespearean play and I ran through all of the lines I could remember from theater classes.

After my imaginary performance, I made my way up to the steps and sat down for a different perspective. Four girls were sitting a few rows behind me and I politely said hello. All four of them returned my hello and smiled simultaneously. There was something about the way they looked at me that made me feel like a child on a the swings again. It was comfortable, easy. I got up from my seat and approached them. The middle girl made a gesture for me to sit down and before I knew it, we were immersed in conversation like old school friends.

Downtown Amman, JordanI didn’t second guess my words or worry if I had just said something stupid. I relaxed. We talked about school, work, life, family, dress, and even culture. I was given some great recommendations for places to visit and things to do.

When it was time to leave, I gave them my email address and we said we’d stay in touch. Normally I’d assume that it was just talk and it would end there, but Jordanians are so beautiful, inside and out, that I truly believe that I will hear from them again.

I’ll keep you posted!

40 thoughts on “Beautiful Strangers Become Friends

  1. winnerful story! My only day in Amman was with a friend’s friend. He took me around to all their friends, and I had a great time. Arabs are beautifully hospitable. With all or wealth in the USA, Arabs out is to shame.


  2. What a GREAT day!! These pictures are beautiful, I am with you..I get so awkward making friends these days. ESPECIALLY I would think in a different country. Amazing that you were able to converse with these locals!! Makes the trip that much better!


  3. What a lovely little vignette. Amazing how, if you give any person a chance to show how gentle, compassionate and kind they are, they will do so. It’s not about the words you choose to open a conversation with, but the guts to show the world you heart. I think that’s what we lose as we become adults. All power to the child on the swing!!


  4. Beautiful within n beautiful without..thats what You are.
    Life only reflects back what you are. In googness you see n meet the good only.
    Your story is mot coincidental. It may just b a pre ordained meeting of real friends from previous lives! Matter of sering the event from diff perspective, I guess, all is pre ordained

    every cause has an effect; every effect has a cause-Kybalion.


  5. That is a really great story! I know a couple of Jordanians in the US and they are so friendly. How often do you find yourself able to interact with strangers? Is it influenced by where you are and what you’re doing? I bet it’s easier in an empty ampitheatre as compared to a crowded hostel kitchen!


  6. Lesley … That’s just loaded with “Forever.” I thought you might have some “forever moments” if you ventured there — so thrilled for you. It is easy, in the Middle East, yet it is not. Fabulous report. Keep us totally in touch!


  7. I had a similar experience when I was in Egypt and while on a cruise down the Nile a family invited me to join in their song/music/dance on the deck of the ship. People are people wherever you go. I think meeting people through travel is the best way to keep peace in the world.


  8. It was good that you shared this story so honestly, mentioning your shyness and awkwardness with strangers. As someone who has read your blog occasionally for a few months I would not have guessed that – as a traveller, writer, blogger and mother you seem capable, successful and a confident person in all you do. Perhaps this moment with the lovely Jordanians will encourage more ease in first meetings with people in the future. 🙂


  9. The beauty of traveling. This kind of “never underestimate the kindness of strangers” moments is priceless, especially when you travel alone. Some people are just to graceful and nice and curious towards foreigners. That’s great.


  10. Nice story.. didn’t know that you were a shy person.. Strange thing is. I feel that most travellers that I’ve met, including myself, are more the less like that? Not too keen on talking to strangers.


  11. true, but most of us don’t do travel much but meeting new friends and meeting strangers from strange streets ‘I mean places would be quite awkward but Conversation starts with something natural and a bit not minding words that you say that we find it that they might-reject us but that’s not true, and maybe they were thinking what we were thinking naturally’ maybe haha.. awesome story ‘Les, I enjoy reading it.. Bless you… and Enjoy the travel-life(Jealous-Me XD)


  12. It is a shame we lose that childhood ability to just interact. I know exactly what you mean. But wonderful that moments of it reappear.


  13. Pingback: Accepting Defeat or Recognizing Greatness | Bucket List Publications

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