My New Pet Project: “Please, Stop By!”

A few weeks ago, I complained on Twitter that one of the things that really bugs be about Vancouver is that people don’t seem to drop by each others’ places nearly often enough. In any other part of the country that I’ve lived in or visited, people seem far more likely to make unannounced (but entirely welcome) visits to their friends and family.

I wish I understood what it was about our city’s culture that makes these brief, casual, and unannounced visits generally unwelcome. As I’ve started putting questions to others about this phenomenon, I’ve been surprised at how many people that are horrified at the idea of unexpected visitors. The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s one of the things I dislike about Vancouver; we’ve got a gorgeous and desirable city, but we’re not known for being particularly friendly–it’s almost like we have control issues with our interactions with others.

I’m under no illusions that I can single-handedly change the culture of this city, but I’d like to try a little experiment. To that end, I’m starting a little project for myself called “Please, stop by!“.

From now until the end of June, I intend on trying to drop in on Vancouver-area Twitter folk, if they’ll let me. My goal is thirty “stop by’s” by the end of the month, mostly during evenings and weekends.

I’m not talking about long onerous visits, just a pop-in for a quick cup of coffee, tea or water and a quick chat. If you’d care to show more hospitality than that, by all means, but it’s not at all necessary. Also, I promise not to show up empty-handed. Of course, I will call before I show up at your door so that I don’t show up at a bad time.

If you’d be willing to move past your (likely) reluctance and would be willing to help me out with this project, I need a few things from you:

  1. An open invitation to come over
  2. Some guidelines on when are better and worse times to come visit. (I want to respect your schedule, so need some guidance, but please don’t leave me with a single time slot–the whole point is not to make “appointments” ahead of time.)
  3. Your street address and phone number

If you’re willing to participate, please send me an email at plsstopby@cogno.ca with the above information.

I will likely write a little about the experience, but I promise not to violate your privacy or talk about your priceless spoon collection without your permission. I also promise to hold your address and contact information in the strictest of confidence.

So, who’s willing to ask me to “Please, stop by!”?

To keep my regular Twitter account uncluttered by this project, I’ve set up a new twitter handle: @plsstopby. I encourage you to follow it to keep track of my progress. and, yes, there will be opportunities to “stop by” on me… additional info on that part coming soon.