Describe a time when you were in a public place and you overheard a stranger talking on the phone IELTS Cue Card

Describe a time when you were in a public place and you overheard a stranger talking on the phone IELTS Cue Card

Describe a time when you were in a public place and you overheard a stranger talking on the phone IELTS Cue Card


Describe a time when you were in a public place and you overheard a stranger talking on the phone.
You should say:

where this happened
when it happened
what the person was talking about
and explain how you felt about hearing the conversation.

Sample 1

A time when I heard I was in a public place and I overheard a stranger talking on the phone. It happened in a public park two weeks back. I was after taking a round of the park. I sat on a bench, and there was another place to sit adjacent to my bench.

A girl was sitting there, probably talking to her mother. She was teaching her mother how to use Amazon, a shopping app. They were talking about outfits and clothes. It was an exciting conversation about how a young person like her was teaching her mother over a phone call how she could place an order online.

The conversation got funny when she got a little irritated, but she took a long breath and started talking again. After hearing the conversation, children try to help their parents when they lack knowledge about technology usage.

As technology advances, our parents or older adults feel left out. It is essential to teach our parents and not just tell them that you don’t know this or that thing. Blaming is not a solution. You need to understand their level of knowledge, and then you need to teach them how to use it.

Sample 2

I’m not a person who usually interferes in someone’s talking. I am talking about one situation this year during the New Year. So, I was in Toronto for the New Year celebration with my friends. We just booked an Uber and went to the GO station to buy a train to catch a train.

And so when I entered a train, I sat next to a black guy. So what happened was that he was on the phone like he was. It was a very worried conversation about how it seemed like he’d lost something. So when I asked him later, he said he had lost his purse and was on the phone.

He talked to the policeman and described everything, like where he’d lost his purse, the documents in it, and how important they were.

He told every story and situation and was relatively apprehensive because he had no money.

He has nothing, and it seems more than a stolen item rather than those who lost him. So after his complaint, I just asked him for a gesture of concern. So I asked him about it, and he told me about the situation, like he lost his purse during the celebration and said that one person was touching his back. So he said, I think the person who likes took my purse.

So he said he had no money. Thank God. He has his mobile phone, by the way, he can pay, so I wish him good luck, and I was worried too because I was relating that situation to myself. It was stressful for me, like if I lost my purse. So yeah, that’s the only conversation I heard about us to know from the like through the stranger to the stranger from the stranger.


What are the common perceptions or stereotypes people have about interacting with strangers? 

There are many frauds and scams these days. It has been taught since childhood that we should not talk to strangers and not take anything from strangers. There is no trust in this era, and people hesitate to speak to a stranger because they don’t know the intention behind it.

Can you discuss the importance of stranger interactions in fostering a sense of community and social cohesion? 

Strangers are complete with surprises. Although we are taught for personal safety that we should not talk to strangers, not all strangers are like that. 

When there are many new people, like a group of people who don’t know each other, they have their own stories and can share them, creating a sense of unity among them. 

How do cultural norms and societal attitudes towards strangers vary around the world?

 The country from where I belong is India; here, people care about each other. They have time to check on each other. So, be it a stranger or anybody going on the road, they will care for them if injured. 

They will help them whenever, wherever, in whatever form they can to the best of their ability. Whereas in other countries, especially in the western part, people do care but don’t have the time to care about strangers. So because of their busy corporate lives, they cannot talk to strangers and make a community. 

What are some strategies for initiating conversations with strangers in different social settings?

 In different social settings, conversing with a stranger can be needed. The best way to start the conversation is to get a clear picture of why you need the conversation. If you are clear, you can derive the conversation in that direction.

The first thing you need to do is just it is straightforward. You need to go to the stranger and say, “Hi, how are you? Ask about another topic and check what kind of replies you get and whether the person is interested in talking to you. Then, you may proceed with your essential topic or your motive. 

Can you share examples of memorable encounters or positive experiences you have had with strangers? 

One of my most memorable experiences recently was when my friend and I went to a place famous in the city for having the best ice cream. There we went, and we saw many couples sitting. They were trying to click their photo, but they could not. 

They were strangers to us. We asked them if they wanted our help. They were happy and so pleased that somebody came up to help them. And we clicked pictures of everybody there. It felt good because we could help someone, and they were happy.

How do social media and online platforms influence our interactions with strangers compared to face-to-face encounters? 

There is a lot of social anxiety among youngsters these days. So, they prefer to talk over social networking websites rather than in actual life situations. They are scared about the type of response, whereas a particular filter is on a specific app. And the other person, whatever their response is, doesn’t affect the sender. So, it is a convenient and preferred method to talk online rather than face-to-face.

What safety precautions should individuals take when interacting with strangers, particularly in unfamiliar or potentially risky situations?

 In a potentially risky situation, if they have to converse with a stranger, they need not tell everything about them. They need to keep a filter, and unnecessary information should be kept private, such as their phone number, house address, or some other details, which can lead to some scams. 

 Can you discuss the psychological benefits of stepping out of one’s comfort zone and engaging with strangers? 

Engaging with strangers is always good. If I talk about myself, I used to be very open to only familiar people kind of person. However, when interacting with new people, especially strangers, I became very comfortable within a few weeks. 

Because knowing other people’s story is such a fantastic experience. Sometimes, you never know that you can get inspired by somebody’s lifestyle or hobbies. And that can take a turn in your own life. I enjoy talking to strangers and having conversations. It’s exciting when you know their stories and you’re telling yours. 

How do experiences of prejudice or discrimination impact interactions between strangers? 

Discrimination can be present at different levels in the society. Discrimination can prevent a person from having a conversation. It is awful because it tends to have an impact of feeling left out or lonely for the person who is being discriminated against. 

What can be done to promote inclusivity and understanding between strangers? 

Various orientation rounds can be made for a professional setting to improve inclusivity. People can indulge in group activities, increasing cohesiveness and undoubtedly generating a sense of unity among them. 

Can you reflect on how your perceptions of strangers have evolved? 

If I look back four or five years back, my perception of strangers is that my parents conditioned me in a certain way that I have to beware of strangers. So, I used to avoid conversing with any stranger. But later after, when I got into college, that made me interact with so many new people. 

Not only people from my college but also when we organized certain events, we talked to many people to get the funds and arrange the sponsors. It was another experience because we ended up having a good bond and making many friends from different professional backgrounds. And knowing their stories inspires me in some way or another. 

What lessons have you learned from interactions with strangers?

 I used to think a lot before doing anything. But I have talked to many strangers, and most have inspired me to do it and focus on the action part. The planning part plays an important role, but act upon it and then see what will work. That is something that I have acquired over time.

How comfortable are you with initiating conversations with strangers in social settings?

 Lots of words. How comfortable are you with communicating with strangers in public places? Well, I’m not a social person. I avoid talking with strangers in public places.

 Can you recall a recent encounter with a stranger that left a positive impression on you? 

It’s hard to tell, but the one situation happened to me like last month. A tour company came to our factory and the company’s CEO. It was strange to me. So he appreciated my work, and for that reason, he said, ” Here you are doing a good job. The packaging is excellent. So, I get inspiration from him, and I appreciate him. So, it was a motivational thing for me. 

What practical ways can you start a conversation with someone you have never met?

 If I have to start a conversation with someone I have never met, I would first greet him, ask him about his health, and ask a general question like how are you? And if he’s closely related to me, then I would offer him a meal or drink. 

Have you ever encountered a situation where you needed to ask a stranger for help or directions? 

Definitely yes. There was one situation where I had to ask for directions from a stranger in a different city. So I went to Muskoka, which is near to my town, about 15 kilometres away. So I went there. A Santa village was held every year, and Santa Christmas activities were organized. So I went there, and I was lost in that city. I had no idea because my phone was shut down due to the battery, and I had no one to ask. So I saw a one lady over there. So, I firmly asked her for directions. Interestingly, she was looking for the same as she wanted our destination to be the same, so she guided me, and that was the only situation when I asked for directions from someone. 

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