by Elizabeth Challinor

Those unspoken rules

Of our inevitable relationship with each other

Strangership in the city

Don't be over friendly

At the checkout till

That would be weird

At the bus stop

It's not rude to ignore the person standing next to you

Should they begin to talk

Show some interest

Be ready to engage in light conversation

But preserve your privacy

Be helpful if needs be

But don't over do it

If you find yourself in a minor collective difficulty

It's always good to crack a joke

Puts everyone at ease

But don't look at anybody

In particular

If they catch your eye look away

And should you mistake a stranger

For your friend

After your enthusiasm has dissolved into an embarrassed apology

Allow your soul to burst into laughter

And marvel at the beauty of us all!

Inspired in:

Horgan,Mervyn. 2012. “Strangers and Strangership.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 33 (6): 607–622

Elizabeth Challinor