I don’t spend a lot of time talking to random people in public. I am friendly, just not that outgoing. I don’t really want to bother people. The funny thing is, that usually doesn’t apply to visits to the hobby store. In the hobby store, or at hobby shows, I find myself drawn into all kinds of conversations–sometimes not even about hobbies.
If I had to guess, I would say that there is something special about hobby shops. The atmosphere lends itself to conversations that you might not otherwise have. This is true of other hobby related shops as well. I have had some rather interesting conversations at comic books stores…but since everyone has seen episodes of The Big Bang Theory, this is no longer a nerd only shared mystery. Some people might think that the show is an exaggeration…..how wrong they would be.
The hobby shop, or comic book shop, or some other specialist shop, is an easy place to have a conversation. Most people have too much knowledge to contain within themselves for too long, so they have to let it out. Most of the time the advice I have received has been wonderful and amazing. Some times I took it, and sometimes I didn’t–sometimes that was a smart move, and sometimes I regret not taking it….such is life.
The most interesting of these times for me were in Japan. Hobby nerd that I am –I wish I could say hobby professional, but until this blog is seen by thousands I day, I can’t really do that….. but I digress. Hobby nerd that I am, I have been to hobby shops in Japan. I have been to model shops, train shops, electronic shops. Yes, I have been to the nerd Mecca of Akihabara. My Japanese is pretty good, but I always feel better when I can strike up a conversation in a hobby shop. I come away feeling pretty good about my skills, and I have usually picked up quite a few words to add to my vocabulary.
For those of you who are even less outgoing than myself, but still want to strike up a conversation, I suggest wondering something out loud. It should work like a charm.