The awkward silence that follows after the GrabHitch Rider gets into the car is familiar to many Hitch Drivers. Sometimes, your Rider says “Hi” and smiles, but that then fulfills their socialising quota and they spend the rest of the journey plugged into their phone.
How should you engage your riders? After all, these are complete strangers and good intentions can be misconstrued. If you usually struggle to break the ice, here are five conversation topics for you to consider on your next GrabHitch pick up.
Here’s an easy, surefire way to start a conversation with your Hitch Rider. Whether you’re picking up a writer – not all writers are authors by the way – or a bartender after a shift at 3am, the possibilities are endless and their stories, possibly priceless.
That said, be mindful of the mood. Not everyone is passionate about their job and if your Hitch Rider happens to work for a top secret government agency, it’ll be better to talk about the weather!
A favourite topic for Singaporeans because we will spend hours queuing for good hawker fare. Ask your rider about their favourite food places and you might even discover an unassuming zi char shop in an industrial area.
Hitching with a millennial? Talk about hipster cafes and watch them morph into food critics. Once you get people gabbing about their favourite food haunts, they can go on forever.
Most Singaporeans know when the long weekends are. The moment the public holiday schedule for the following year is released, phones start ringing off the hook as BFFs across the country plan their next trip out. Whether it’s to experience a different slice of life, to spend money because they simply have too much, or just to have the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop to their selfie, travelling is a favourite hobby and they will have much to share.
And guess what? You may gain important knowledge on the hottest travel deals.
Nothing gets a conversation going than someone talking passionately about something. Hobbies are a good way to draw out that passion and who knows, what starts as a question about their post-work activities may end up being a new item on your to-do list.
But more than just mindless gushing, a person’s interests and hobbies can also reveal something about their personality and their dreams. Take this opportunity to know your riders, even if their hobby is knitting.
Image source: Instagram / @ship
Saving the best for last, this is a subject that practically writes itself. Who doesn’t like cute animal videos on social media? Cat memes are a thing because people find them sassy.
People can go on about their pets. From their diets to their allergies to their quirks, there’s much laughter and tears to be had when you realise that both your dogs take dopey selfies or pee on your couch out of spite.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel connected to people – and that includes the most introverted among us. And even if it’s a short commute, the interaction Hitch Drivers provide can brighten someone’s day. Who knows, you might even find a friend in them.