Communication training at Kudle Beach

When traveling, you get to know the funniest and craziest people, especially if you are staying in the backpacker hotspots. The hitherto most interesting encounters I had on Kudle Beach in Karnataka, an alternative to the famous Om Beach.  The Beach is mostly visited by backpacker travellers because it as no access by a road. Therfore you have to hike to the beach, even though I have seen people who pushed their trolley to the beach.

But today I do not want to write about another beach but about the people I met. Kudle beach is visited by a potpourri travelers from around the world. Some are already three months on this beach and do nothing but smoking pot. But this ist not special for the area as in the whole of India you can find pot if interested. In Goa, as well as in Hampi where I am writing these lines. The people are traveling for different reasons. Be it because they finished a harsh military service in Israel, or simply to take a break from work. Ultimately, all are equal received and greeted with a friendly Namasté on the beach. It is familiar and sociable and there is no reason to leave this beach.

A particularly lasting impression on me had two people. A PhD of Mathematics gets in touch with people in a very distinctive way, and challenges the art of small talk. He had a very demanding and insistent way to engage in a conversation. His questions threatened the borders of intimacy and privacy for German standards. Moreover he used the answers to start new topics. His questions have been more like a provocation and a challeng, because you have to think about the answers as you never have been asked this questions. He also responded to simple questions often with pictures, which sparked new conversations. When asked about his day he might answer like this:

I feel like a watermelon falling into the water, going to the ground and then coming up again and then just follow the flow of the waves.

One might ask, what kind of drugs are in the game, but this form of conversation was a concept. By this he built up a connection within a short time  and get to know the person even closer. It would be actually worth to think about our own communication styles.

One other backpackers confronted us with a 5 minute test, in which you can find out a lot about the other person but also about yourself. I do not want to hide this test of imagination from you. I will tell you more about the inventor at the end. But I would be happy if you share your answers.

Imagine you are in the desert. There is nothing but sand. Next, I’m going to ask you to imagine various things. Imagine what they look like, where they are located, how they are arranged in space. Everything is possible! Keep the first impression!

  1. First, just imagine a box. What does the box look like? Where is it? How big it is and what color is it?
  2. Now just imagine a ladder. Where is the ladder? How does it look?
  3. The same now with a flower. What kind of flower do you imaging? Where is she? What color is it?
  4. Now, please imagine an animal? What kind of animal? Where is it in relation to the box?
  5. And finally, just imagine a storm. Where is this? What does the storm look like and do?

Before I tell you more about your results, here are my answers:

  1. My box was small, brown, wooden, antique, closed with metal fittings.
  2. My ladder was leaning against the box and towered into the sky.
  3. My flower was a yellow sunflower in a pot and hovered in the sky.
  4. My animal was a cheetah who looked to the box. However, he was buried up to the head in the sand.
  5. My storm was in the box.

The test was invented by Oliver Pemberton: How to connect deeply with anyone. Each question is connected to a specific aspects of life:

  1. The box is oneself. If they are large, the ego is large. Is it transparent, you are open to others. Is it light, you are a positive person.
  2. The ladder represents your friends and how they are connected to you.
  3. The flower represents for children. Interpret your flower by yourself.
  4. The animal for the dream lover / the dream lover. Actually one should imagine a horse in the test. I myself was asked for an animal. Personally, I find this variant nice because animals also have certain characteristics and so help feed the image.
  5. The storm represents trouble.