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For a short brief greeting is okay, but to carry on a conversation it is tough. Yes, it is true that I don’t carry on natural conversation with stranger. So all this concern seems rather pointless. But it is still fun to think about nonetheless. (I can’t believe “nevertheless” is an actual word. Shocking to saytheleast.)

The second reason I do not chat with strangers on flight: one thing I am not afraid of is boredom, but I have a rational fear of other people’s boredom. There is absolutely nothing worst than getting stuck with another person who believes whole-heartedly you are the solution to their boredom. And since there is no escape on a flight, other people’s boredom usually spills over and becomes my responsibility. It is one thing to start a conversation; it is an art to stop a neutral conversation which starts with oh-where-you-from on a flight. Unfortunately those things don’t just end itself, except for the following three scenarios:

1. The meals arrive along with the headphone for the in flight movies. Watching Ocean’s Twelve for the fifth time. Both parties have a mutual understanding now its time to take in nutrients and crappy entertainment. Conversation ends.

2. Two parties quickly realize a roadblock in communication (perhaps language barrier, which is really my favorite) and mutually understand that there isn’t much in common. “Oh you still listen to Dave Matthew Band?” or “Oh you don’t think Don Quixote is a great novel?” Conversation ends.

3. Talking to her and you realize she is everything that you detest. She puts “licious” behind every word willy-nilly. She reminds you of your mother, telling you button up your sleeves. She makes a judgmental comment about you taking the always colorful in-flight emergency illustration booklet (“It’s not stealing if it’s free and they have loads of copies of the same thing…”). She reminds you of the blonde anchor on Entertainment Tonight who exaggerate every word as though she is speaking to a group of kindergarteners. Worse yet, she pretends she is interested even though she is not a good at pretending. (Who wants phoniness if it only remind you of yourself) once she finally says “oh really?” for the seventy three times you finally snapped, “shut up you annoying bit*h”. Conversation ends.

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FOXRIVER light switch box
Painting by Daniel Kim