A city resident was unsure how to react today as he took a rare walk in the countryside and found himself faced with friendly, relaxed looking people.
It happened when systems analyst Pete Humphreys from Dublin was on a business trip to Killarney.
“It freaked me out to be honest,” said Pete. “People nodded and smiled even though I didn’t know them…
“Some even started talking to me for no reason. I didn’t want to get dragged into a conversation with some yokel and then find they were a country psycho killer so I kept staring straight ahead.
“After a while I relaxed and wanted to nod to someone myself but it’s tricky to know when and how. It starts with an initial glance and you have to decide whether the other person wants to nod or not. It’s embarrassing to smile and then be ignored…
“I got the hang of it eventually but there was one uncomfortable moment when I smiled a bit too much at a young woman and asked where she was going. She looked startled and hurried off. I ran after her to explain but that made it worse and she dialled the police. I think she might have been from the city as well.
“It was a relief to get back to Dublin and start ignoring everyone again.
“On the way home I saw an old woman drop her shopping bags and all her groceries rolled out into the street – so I walked right past her. It sure feels good to be back!”