While on vacation in somewhere place, having acquaintances to local residents is giving many advantages, ie: we can find places which untouched by tourists, can get cheaper prices when shopping, or can be dive and browse more into the local culture.
Well, how to meet and mingle with the locals when we were on vacation? Please try the following tips:
1. Break the uncomfortable situation
A smile is a universal language to break the uncomfortable situation. Bring the friendly and well-intention is the beginning of mandatory. After that, Introduce yourself. Try to remember and mention names properly of people who is in conversation with you.
When the name is too hard to remember, use the common word such as Mr., Mrs., miss, sister, brother or other. Begin a conversation with general questions about the local attractions. For example, what the local specialties, where the interesting tourist attractions around the area, how to achieve it and so on.
Bring your attitude as if the information provided is very important and new to you even though you already know.
2. Be polite
When interacting with anyone, keep your manners. Moreover, when we are a stranger who was visiting in an area. Do not do something odd or say something that not deserve. In general, the standard of decency in everywhere are same - especially with regard to the attitude or body language.
3. Topics for discussion
Sometimes it's hard to talk to strangers (in a strange place anyway). Could be you're afraid of talking and offensive. To avoid things like that, choose a common and light topic of conversation. Avoid sensitive topics such as religion, politics, and ethnicity or race.
If the other person initiate such topics, respond with a polite but not enthusiastic. Even if you agree with the thought of the speaker, the topic is sensitive enough to listen only, does not need to be overlaid and extended, much less debated. Besides being easily provoked emotion, such talk will only make the complicated and hot atmosphere. Rather than to be friends, but you even get in trouble.
To make the atmosphere warm and not stiff, slip humor into the conversation is the solution. However, you must be very clever to choose the type of humor that suitable with the situation and condition.
Of course humor is sensitive about racial and physical denounced should be avoided. Also do not use local humor that is only understood by people from your area. As a result your humor can not be understand and atmosphere become so crisp. You can take a humorous topics that are popular in the media or light guessing.
In a conversation and you are alone as a guest in a strange place, never dominate. Be a good listener even if the conversation does not make you interest. Remember your goal is always involved in the talks is to be a bridge in order to mingle with local people.
If you are "stuck" in a long and tedious conversation, get out of the situation slowly. Hear them for a while, then give a plausible reason that you should leave immediately.
If you've found one or a group of local people who want to make friends for hanging out there, occasionally you can treat them for drink or eat. No need of expensive, but enough to show that you want to be friends with them. Also do not overdo because it seem you are not sincere like want to buy friendship.