Monday, April 28, 2008

About Small Talks and Trivial Conversation

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much. -Yogi Berra

Yesterday, my family and I went to the dentist. Not because we need to but to avail of their promo. Free dental cleaning for company employees and their family (yeah, typical pinoy, mahilig sa libre).

While the orthodontist was cleaning my teeth of plaque and nicotine, she started asking me personal questions. How old am I? Is that my wife waiting outside? How old is my daughter? Luckily all her questions could be answered by hand gestures and facial expressions, but I’m not comfortable. Then she began to chat with her assistant, talking about a co-worker with an “attitude”, as if I’m not there listening. That makes me even more uncomfortable. Akala ko tuloy nasa beauty parlor ako, instead of a dental clinic.

Just like my suking barbershop employing a pair of kabayans. One has a habit of chatting to his customer, from mundane to private topics; the other one cut your hair silently. Both are good in their profession but I always select the latter. I go there to have a haircut not to get acquainted with anybody.

Similarly in my hometown, two “manicuristas” do home service job. My wife is fond of one. In addition to the manicure and pedicure, she’s also updated on the latest local “news”. The other one have a physical handicap: she’s born deaf and mute. Since I pay for the service, it’s obvious who do our finger and toe nails.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. There’s nothing wrong in striking a conversation provided that you don’t make the other person feel uncomfortable. I can handle small talks with a stranger as long as it revolves around politics, the weather or the company we worked for like “Okay ba magpasahod ang kompanya nyo?” But it annoys me when the topic becomes personal as in “Magkano ba ang suweldo mo?” Some people just don’t know the word tact.


  1. What could be more stressful, when a Taxi driver strike a converstation on you asking what country are you from,What are you doing there and what is your job? Are you married? How many children do you have?In a language where you can barely talk and understand and then you answered back with a broken phrases that maybe you thought is impolite or insulting ha ha ha ha... When you met such garrulous taxi driver how you wish you could just go down and walk miles on your way home.

  2. I thought you could only find talkative taxi drivers in Manila. Sa Seoul din pala.

  3. Blogusvox,I live in Daegu its a big city of 2.5 million people 300miles from Seoul,where many people are twice as talkative than Seoul and an accent that even seoulites find it annoying.But they are just as friendly and wants you to feel at home and comfortable though by asking too many questions.Oldermen and women often do talk and inquire a lot but professionals like Doctors often avoid talking to foreigners baka mapasubo sa inglesan o kaya maubusan dyahe Doctor pa naman siya ha ha ha ha....