They tell you not to, don’t they? People. People tell you not to talk to strangers. To be afraid of them. That all strangers are lunatics out to murder us in our beds. Yet in reality that is not really true. I don’t want to get all morbid and intense but statistics show that when a person is murdered or hurt it is by somebody they know. Generally speaking.
Strangers are not the bad guys. Well statistically speaking they aren’t.
It always makes me smile when I hear stories from Bruce’s mum about the people she has chatted to on train journeys or in a queue. I remember when Lady B came to stay with us from Cheshire on the train there was a fabulous story of a chap she chatted to for quite a while, who had given quite a potted life history, and who had then got off the train and wandered off into the crowd. On their travels around the world in their classic Jag I know my parents have bumped into some fabulous strangers who have helped them create some great memories.
One of my favourite memories from our honeymoon in Barbados was a stranger coming up to us in a bar after he spotted Mr B’s sunburn. Telling us we need to get some aloe vera on it and then going off to a nearby plant, lopping off a leaf, squeezing out the gel and telling Mr B to wipe it on his chest. This same chap then took us to the end of the pier with a bucket of fish he had grabbed from the nearby market and showed us to how to feed turtles. It was during this that he told he had just been released from prison. Yet we had never felt safer. When we returned the following year we asked after him in the bar and were told “oh Popeye has gone back to the big house”. Oops.
Yet never during that time did we feel afraid of chatting to strangers.
Which is probably why when I saw an initiative that Oh Comely had set up it appealed to my romantic nature and I signed up there and then. It is called the Perfect Strangers Swap. And the idea is very simple. You sign up, giving a few details about yourself, and then mid November you will be given the details of a complete stranger to whom you send a little care package. With a value of no more than £10. In the hope that you have been paired with somebody else who will do the same.
Your “perfect stranger” could be anywhere in the world, meaning that your parcel could contain all manner of goodies, and that what you send to your “stranger” is a snapshot of your life for them. There is also a suggestion that you photograph the contents of your handbag as this can be quite enlightening. I suspect the handbag contents of somebody in the UK will be very different from say, somebody, in Pakistan, or Iceland.
This really appeals to me and I have signed up already. All matches will be done on November 10th so if you want to join in you don’t have long.
The small print does say of course that you are giving your home address to a complete stranger and to be mindful of that, you might want to give an office address maybe if this makes you nervous.
But just think how much fun this could be, and who knows, the start of a great penpal friendship
All the info you need is here: Oh Comely Perfect Stranger Swap
I can’t wait to find out who my stranger is, and will share with you what I send, and fingers crossed what I also receive.
Photo copyright Oh Comely Magazine