I remember watching travel shows where people are meeting and trusting strangers at what seemed to me an alarmingly quick rate but now that I’ve been in some of those situations I must say, it’s far easier than you’d think.
We taught together for a week which doesn’t seem long but when in a small town teaching children from 8 to 3pm every day you bond really quickly. The hotel pool, hot tub, and wine spritzers didn’t hurt either. Half the teachers live in Budapest, the rest of us Berlin. The company prefers when you work weeks in a row so that you don’t have to go all the way back to Berlin, they put you up in Vienna at a hostel. Some of the other Berliners mentioned they would rather go back to Budapest with the others than back to Vienna. All of a sudden it was Friday and with no idea what I was doing it seemed logical to take the extra seat in the van and join my new friends.
And I’m so glad I did. Budapest was great, it all felt very grand and chaotic. As we were driving in all of us sort of realized simultaneously that we hadn’t made any arrangements for where we might sleep or what we were planning on doing while we were there. It was all a bit surreal, one of the other teachers called a friend and we ended up staying with him one night and another teacher the next. It seemed like a set up for some sort of bad movie where everything goes wrong and then in the end everyone realizes they need to let go of their high expectations blah blah blah; but really nothing particularly bad happened.