I was at the beach with my cousin the other day, when a little boy walked up to us.
"Hi", he said, "Do you speak Swedish?"
We admitted we did, so he went on:
"My name is Rufus. I'm five years old." Since the only response he got was a rather boring "Oh", he decided to continue.
"I live on an island over there", he pointed out towards the sea. "Have you ever been there?" We looked suitably apologetic as we, slightly surprised, shook our heads. By this time he had realised we weren't very interesting conversation partners, so he tried another approach.
"Shall we go play by the swings?"
Sadly, we had other plans and had to decline, and so our friendship with Rufus never developed any further, but I was impressed by him and how straight forward he was.
I'm not like Rufus. For the last three quarters of my life I've found it difficult to come up with something to say when meeting new people, and often I've preferred staying silent, because it's easier and just more comfortable. This strategy has left me with a few very good friends and hardly any mates of the more superficial kind. That's all right in itself, but in a couple of weeks I'm moving to a new city I don't know to study with people I've never met and share a flat with two complete strangers who probably don't speak my language, and my old, good friends aren't coming with me, so if I just keep on saying nothing I'll end up sad and lonely.
So I guess I'll have to leave my very comfortable comfort zone and become more like Rufus. Walk up to people and talk to them instead of waiting for them to talk to me. Smile broadly and say "Hi!" to folk I don't know. Greet strangers with a happy "Shall we go play by the swings?". It may not be the best conversation opener, but it's certainly better than saying nothing at all.