Packing for your vacation? Don’t forget this.
What do an icepick, a frisbee, and a North Sea freighter have in common?
They all break the ice.
You’re in the pool on vacation. You go under water a few times. Your son asks you to play Marco Polo but you’d kinda rather not. There are some other kids in the pool, but it looks like they’re playing on their own. It’s a dilemma.
- Get out and read your book.
- Head to the bar.
- Play Marco Polo with your son.
- Bust out the frisbee (or any ball) and start a game.
Any game. It doesn’t matter. Just so that it involves throwing a ball (or frisbee) around.
A frisbee on vacation (or anywhere, for that matter) is an easy, fun and multilingual way to get to know some of your fellow travelers. If you’re traveling with a group, bringing out a ball in the pool or on the beach will make you an instant celebrity. Stardom aside, it will also allow your kids to instantly have an icebreaker to get to know other kids they might have been too shy to say hi to.
Does it have to be a frisbee?
While a frisbee is at the top of the list, any ball or any object that can be thrown and caught will work just fine. What previously was just a pool with people in it can turn into a hotly contested game of Lummelen (or Keep Away).
Still a bit shy?
Here’s a secret from the best of “How to Make Friends in Foreign Pools” (3rd edition): throw your ball “accidentally” over near another group of people. If that doesn’t break the ice, do it a few more times. Still not sure what to say? From Chapter 7 on “What to say when you really don’t know what to say,” here are a few helpful lines:
- Sorry, I’m not very accurate with throwing the ball. Would you guys like to play with my kids for a little bit?
- Sorry that I keep throwing the ball your way. Hey, how far in the air do you think you can throw it?
- Oops, sorry about that! But now that you have touched the ball, you have to play. It’s the rules.
- I’m open! I’m open! Throw to me!
Don’t forget your passport. Sunblock is always good. But bring a ball on your next trip and see what happens. The worst that could happen is you knock over the cocktail of the lady in the sunhat and you have to buy her (and yourself) another one.