Don’t talk to strangers. Your ears must have gone sore hearing this instruction growing up. Enter adulthood and that very action of talking to strangers is supposed to skyrocket you to the upper echelons of your career or business. Experts now call it networking. This is quite the mantra in the professional world. Event equals networking period!
However, sometimes though, at some of those cocktails, I’m tempted to stand in one spot with my friends, keep reaching out for the yummy finger food and gently sip my wine. Observing people work the room is often interesting.
It was easy to notice Christian because of his movie star look this particular evening at the Iceland Independence Day 100th anniversary.
But what was particularly captivating is how he worked the room.
For a minute there, my friends and I thought he was one of the event organisers. The moment he passed by our table, I went for it. “Hello,” I offered. That was enough for him to find a comfortable spot at our table. Christian we discovered was from Iceland and had been in Uganda only a week. Now that was shocking because of how he was working the room. “I’m a social worker,” he went on to talk about his job. Typical of a European in Africa for the first time, he spoke of being blown away by the green in Uganda.
His perception before the trip? “I did think people would still be living in grass thatched houses. And no I never expected such vibrancy in the city.”
Don’t these people have the internet or what? One thing though, indeed he did find those grass thatched communities up country, so well those expectations were spot on.
We were glad the modernity of the city showed him that we are going places here. Ironically, our own expectations of Iceland were something else.