The Friendliness of Strangers

You often hear horror stories of travellers meeting friendly strangers, only to then get scammed, conned or flat out robbed. Thankfully, though this does happen around tourist areas, it’s pretty much nonexistent in our daily lives.

What you might hear less of is the overwhelming kindness of strangers who are eager to find out where you’re from, what you do, and to welcome you with open arms to their corner of the world.

Good music and good conversation with a bunch of friendly strangers.

There’s been too many times to count locals who want to help me day to day, teach me some Chinese, and share their lives/food/experiences with me. They try to converse in their broken English or my broken Chinese and tell me about their home and find out about mine. Sometimes there’s no understood words besides place names and a thumbs up. Body language!

From the gentleman who gave me kabobs while I waited for noodles, to the families who allowed me to come in and look at their homes. The children that yell English greetings in the streets and the woman at the coffee shop who gave us cheesecake the first day we went there.

It’s a special kind of bond, when you make friends with people you sometimes can’t even talk to. Lovely locals like these are a major part of what makes travelling, away from loved ones and a language you can understand, completely worth it.

A curious boy in Kashgar who wanted to play in front of and with the camera.
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