It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

I know exactly what would happen in this scenario. My son would start chatting with the other person and they would have a long conversation of which I would have no part except to accept congratulations at the end for having such a confident boy.

We were coming back from a trip to Bahrain and riding the bus to board the plane. My son was seated and I was standing next to him. When the bus started moving I was pushed a bit away from him. He started talking to the man standing in front of him and soon all the people around him joined him. He was telling them all about his trip and where he was going now and what he was going to do. They were all listening to him and smiling. Having entertained a whole bunch of people on the bus, he got off with me to board the plane.

It’s the same wherever we go. He’ll start talking to the people in an elevator. He has to strike up a conversation with the delivery man and the repair men who come to the house. Sometimes I have seen adults being shy to answer him. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way round?

I am quite the opposite. I would never start a conversation with a stranger. I don’t know where he gets it from.