I must look like a friendly person. I get approached and asked for directions all the time. Despite the fact that a lot of the time I’m gawking like a tourist or have a camera around my neck. People swerve to the side of the road to talk to me in some foreign tongue. When I ask them to repeat in English they do and I usually have to inform them that I have no clue.
Just tonight in about a half hour I got approached by two people who asked me if I knew the way. One asked me in thickly accented English if I knew where the cinema was and so I pulled out my map and started looking around for it. He thanked me but said he’d rather just ask someone who knew where it was. Where’s the fun in that?
The next person who came up to me asked if I knew the way to eternal life. He was a Scottish Mormon. I didn’t know they existed. This is the second time in a foreign city that I’ve been approached by a missioning Mormon – the first being a kid from Utah missioning in Vilnius – and asked about my opinions on the meaning of life and everything. Maybe I just look like I know what I’m doing and they want to know my secrets.
You’d think that people would know better. I’ve usually got a beard, shaggy hair and am dressed like someone who buys his clothes in some kind of American thrift store or something. And yet Europeans still ask me if I know how to get to the movies and to Heaven. Go figure.