The pizzeria was tiny and stuffed with people. We managed to grab the last free table, one with six chairs. It’s just the two of us. Several people passed by, looked at us and carried on, until I asked a pair to come join us. Why are so many people hesitant to join a public table?
I’m not location-dropping for a reason: I’ve discovered this happening worldwide. First I thought it was a Dutch thing since they’re always ready to intercept a stranger possibly asking something from them. But I didn’t notice table-sharing it in The States, Germany or Lisbon either (now I’m location-dropping and I’m sorry). I have seen awesome huge reading tables that are half empty. Or if they are filled, there is an empty chair between every group because . Why is this?
It’s not like I’ve always been s sharing person. There was a time when I would throw my bag on the one chair and my coat on the other, just to prevent strangers coming into my personal table space. Strangers passing by would be stared down or aggressively ignored so they’d know better than to ask if they could sit next to me. I don’t know if I had a legitimate fear of interacting with other people (why would you if you don’t want to?) or if I was just acting like the queen of my acquired castle.
These days, I single them out, the overly large tables. Even when I have a magazine or book with me, I like the feeling of “my” table being enriched by others. If they dare.
The girls in the pizza place who eventually shared our table were American exchange students from Oregon and Connecticut, by the way. We talked for about an hour, wished each other a pleasant night when we left and managed to enjoy our amazing pizzas.
Would you rather walk into the next café for a free seat or are you a-okay with sharing a table with a stranger?