I am traveling with a friend of mine all over Europe in a big bus.
Yes, I left the husband at home with the kids. Can’t really have fun if either of them is around, you know?
So we have been on one of the many tours of Europe that you can do with a group and a tour guide. This helps you get from point A to point B and lets you cut in line at the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican which leaves more time for sightseeing and photography.
However, when you are touring Europe with a group and are forced to sit at tables with a new group of strangers at each meal, having someone with you that is good at making conversation is essential.
Personally, I am not good at conversation at all unless I am in the office playing the role of doctor. I love talking to people in that setting. They generally welcome me prying into their lives. Outside of that box, however, I don’t know how much people want me nosing around in their business and I am not really sure that I want them nosing around in mine.
One of the particularly difficult questions for me on these types of tours is “What do you do?”
I try the “I am in healthcare line,” but no one is OK with that answer. If I say that I am a physician, suddenly everyone is either self conscious because they feel I am judging them, or they start asking me about what I think about the Affordable Care Act or if I agree with dear old Aunt Editha’s treatment for stroke last year.
So, my friend has done a marvelous job of deflecting the attention away from me, even if she is not aware of what she is doing. For this, I am very, very grateful.