For strangers Dec4 ~ 21/17:YVR ⇄ Japan

Thank you for visiting this post in the blog!

This post is for people who come here because of my business card handed during my trip to Japan from Vancouver, BC.

I am curious how people feel about talking to strangers.  I appreciate if you can share your experience in the comment below.  If you do not want to share in public, please mentioned about it in your comment.  Your comment always comes to me first.  Your post does not automatically appear in this blog.

Thank you in advance!!

Talk to strangers activity – Dec 2/17

Hi M.Ed. Education for Sustainability classmates and post strangers!

How was your experience to talk to strangers?  For some people easy to do, for some people not at all..

It will be helpful if you leave a comment how you felt/what kind technique you used/what kind of surprise you got/if this activity gave you motivation to talk to strangers and etc.

* Your comments are not shown unless I, this blog manager, accept.  If you want to share your comment only with me, please mention “blog manager only” in your comment.  Otherwise, your comment will be shown in public.

Thank you very much for your participation!!

Hillcrest Centre

The following audio interviews were recorded at the City of Vancouver’s Hillcrest Centre around 5pm on March 30th. The Centre is one of two dozen city-run community centres, which provide recreational, social, and cultural activities for all city residents, according to the City’s website.  The Hillcrest Centre is one of the City’s largest, and has gym and sports facilities, including a pool and ice rink, as weel as a public library (Terry Salman Branch).

There centre was busy, with children playing, and mothers and grandparents who were waiting for kids to finish their classes.

Today’s approach

  • Instead of using the word “loneliness”, we started to use “social isolation”

Approaching and interviewing people was not easy.  Some people declined our invites to talk, even without knowledge of the subject we wanted to discuss.  Others were more willing:

Not surprisingly, once we stopped recording but had already established a comfortable connection with this woman, she continued the conversation.  She said she is too busy to seek new friends, and is not necessarily looking for them because she already has a family, a career, and existing friends.  Really what she needs more of is personal time to spend in solitude.  In fact, the 30 minutes during which we interviewed her and continued our discussion is normally the only time she has daily to spend by herself reading the newspaper and being alone.


The University of British Columbia

Our first experiencing discussing loneliness with strangers took us to the Student Union Building and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia.  We selected this location for our first attempts as we expected people to be more open to interviews with strangers in an academic setting, and as we were able to explain that we were graduate students doing a project on loneliness without worry of any perceived elitism alienating us from our subjects.

Though we did get some rejections, and we (at least some of us) were shy to ask strangers to talk to us about their experiences with loneliness, we also got a number of very willing respondents.

Generally, we asked the following questions, however we also allowed for open discussing and for one question to instigate into another:

  1. What is loneliness?
  2. When do you feel lonely?
  3. How do you solve the loneliness?


The following interview is with a 3rd year undergraduate exchange student from the UK:


The next interview is with a 4th year international undergraduate student from China:


This final interview is with a 3rd year student who is native Vancouverite of Asian decent: