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Dining with strangers

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1 hour ago, Toofarfromthesea said:


If I tell you more I'll have to kill you?
😜
 

Nothing like that, but it beats saying I sell shoes.

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Best conversation stopper (in a nice way) was when we were all introducing ourselves to our table companions. The response was 'I teach Shakespeare to the inmates of one of the toughest men's prisons in the UK'!!!

Apparently they loved it, especially the sonnets.

Who knew?

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On one cruise my husband and I decided to just get a table for two, since it was our anniversary.  But the tables for two were all lined up about 6" apart so we ended up having conversations "down the line" and it was more or less a table for 8!!  And was fun.

I am a little concerned about the world cruise next year:  I hope we don't have the same people for 112 days!  I don't want to have dinner with my best friends for 112 nights in a row.  I'll have to check the etiquette 

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"Where are you from and what do you do (work)?" is code for "I'm trying to size you up and judge you."

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As part of my job, I must engage in "small talk" with every guest. As part of Forbes training, you learn how to "drill down" to find little gold nuggets of information about each guest that you can use to enhance their stay.  I do not enjoy having to do "small talk" when I'm on my vacation - I'm on vacation to get away from work.  I am also a solo woman traveler.  That sometimes brings up the "oh dear, you couldn't find someone to come with you", "you are so brave", etc. kind of comments and conversation.   I could regale a table with stories of entitled twits, drunk Supreme Court Justices, Presidential candidates allowing their children to run wild and unattended, celebrities who have their credit card declined, people trying to scam for free stays, and more.  But, I'm fine and happy to have my dinner with myself, thankful that I'm not at work.  I have been seated at a couple of communal tables in Italy and Germany.  I'll nod an acknowledgment to those already seated and then that's it.  The only time someone tries to engage in conversation has been when I'm seated with Americans...

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2 hours ago, pseudoware said:

"Where are you from and what do you do (work)?" is code for "I'm trying to size you up and judge you."


Or possibly just trying to find a point of contact for having a real conversation?

How sad to view everything with such suspicion.  I find that when I just assume good faith and good intentions I am rarely wrong.  I am interested in hearing about life experiences from people of accomplishment - for the sake of seeing how other people live, not to judge them personally.

 

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2 hours ago, pseudoware said:

"Where are you from and what do you do (work)?" is code for "I'm trying to size you up and judge you."

 

Not necessarily. Sometimes a thing is simply what it seems and not code for anything. It's a way to discover commonalities.

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For some it is trying to work out if they are from so you can talk about something familiar like 'I have been there, it was nice  …'

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On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2019 at 8:20 PM, Ashland said:

Just one of the many reason's we prefer not to share a table...I wouldn't consider doing this (sharing a table) at home in a local restaurant...why would I want to do this on a ship. JMHO.

Must be very young as this is a strange response for a cruising forum. Not sharing a table is a relatively new option for cruisers.

 

Burt

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3 hours ago, pseudoware said:

"Where are you from and what do you do (work)?" is code for "I'm trying to size you up and judge you."

That is ridiculous. Passengers who believe that need their own table.

 

Burt

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15 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

LOl, I know what you mean about the 6" gap between the tables. Funny (not really) how she interrupted your conversation to insult you. The world has all kinds I suppose.

 

If you previously had a conversation, and again were seated close together, and did not acknowledge them, I would say that was insulting.

 

I would have at least said good evening, gone back and finished my conversation, then asked about their day.

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4 hours ago, pseudoware said:

"Where are you from and what do you do (work)?" is code for "I'm trying to size you up and judge you."

 

Sometimes, but not always.

 

I use it to find a common ground to start conversing.

 

Otherwise, you end up talking about the weather. 😄

 

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12 hours ago, Toofarfromthesea said:


Not sure I agree, as my wife fits none of those, and other than 3  9-month years of eating in a college dining hall, neither do I, yet we both enjoy sitting at a dinner table and meeting people.  I think it is more an Outlook thing.  Some people focus inward on THEIR private experience and some are more outward oriented.  Neither is right or wrong or better or worse, because it isn't a one-sided fits all world.

Personally, I am not so much interested in their lives as I am in the life they led, if you see the distinction.

 

It is called being Introverted or Extroverted. 🙂

 

I will talk to anyone.  My Dad would talk to a wall.  And probably make a life long friend out of the wall. 😄

 

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Based on some of these posts is why we always prefer a two top. But when talking with others we don't embellish either.  

Edited by davekathy

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1 hour ago, SRF said:

 

If you previously had a conversation, and again were seated close together, and did not acknowledge them, I would say that was insulting.

 

I would have at least said good evening, gone back and finished my conversation, then asked about their day.

 

I think I found her!

Just to explain what really happened. We were walking to our table in full conversation and she started in on us. We had a table for two. I didn't even notice her right off the bat because I was having so much fun with my beautiful wife. If she would have given us the courtesy of waiting until we were done with our conversation...why am I even trying.

 

I'm sure you know better.

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1 hour ago, Beachdude said:

Must be very young as this is a strange response for a cruising forum. Not sharing a table is a relatively new option for cruisers.

 

Burt

Good point. It was just about 15 years ago that NCL introduced their Freestyle concept;  and until then two tops were very rare and hard to come by.

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I don't think we've ever been asked where we work -or not until we've dined with people for several days. The usual question is "Have you cruised before/ been on this ship before?".

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4 hours ago, Beachdude said:

Must be very young as this is a strange response for a cruising forum. Not sharing a table is a relatively new option for cruisers.

 

Burt

HaHaHa......Not young at all (but thanks for assuming we are)...cruising for many many years and we love the new option of a table for two....Soon celebrating our 45th anniversary and enjoy our alone time onboard together when we aren't taking the extended family with us.

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Where I’m from - No problem but I cringe every time someone asks what I do...99% of the time if I tell them ... they immediately say “Really?”  And then follow up with a bunch of what do you think about X questions

So if I can’t avoid the question; I have a standard answer that I use (that isn’t what I do) 

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We usually get a table for two, because we enjoy each other.

 

But sometimes I keep my career low key, other times I let it all flow, I guess it depends on my mood.

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Mrs, XBGuy and I usually have dinner alone,  However, since she likes to sleep in every morning (Why should she change her routine just because she's on a cruise?), I head off to breakfast by myself--usually, the buffet.  I'll often ask to sit at a table that has some people but also some (multiple) empty chairs.  One time I was feeling a bit feisty when a lady asked, "What do you do?" 

 

I told her, "I'm a Viking.  So, I spend most of my time raiding and plundering."

 

Her response was excellent.  "Oh, I've always wanted to meet a Viking.  I love your uniforms."

 

🤣

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We had our own table way back in 1987 on Ms. Noordam.  Also, on two subsequent cruises on other lines.  Not a new concept.

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1 hour ago, rsfunk said:

Where I’m from - No problem but I cringe every time someone asks what I do...99% of the time if I tell them ... they immediately say “Really?”  And then follow up with a bunch of what do you think about X questions

So if I can’t avoid the question; I have a standard answer that I use (that isn’t what I do) 

 

Of course, it is possible to phrase what you do in general terms - completely truthfully focusing on one aspect of your activity - without branding yourself.  A shoe salesman could say he helps people with transportation questions, a bartender is a host in the hospitality industry or a grief counselor,   a teacher, policeman, or  municipal bus driver works for local government. Simply avoid specific answers and redirect the conversation to an area within your comfort zone.  

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The old standby, if you are or can pass yourself off as the same nationality of the inquistor:  Say you work for the tax department with a role of finding who to audit

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18 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

Nothing like that, but it beats saying I sell shoes.

Try selling

Tupperware

 

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