I often enjoy eating my lunch alone while reflecting on the things I can write for my Sunday blog. I go to small cosy restaurants for a soup, salad or sandwich. In Europe you find communal tables in many luncheon restaurants these days and I really like these.
If you come with a large group of six or seven people it is normally possible to arrange for everyone sitting around one of the ends, while at the same time time others join you to either side.
It is also a pleasure to sit around this large table when you come alone for a small bite. You can be alone if you like and just acknowledge the others with a "hi" or you can start a conversation if the opportunity appears. It is amazing what kind of people you can get in contact with this way. And if you happen to have a schedule where you go to the same place at the same time of the day and week, some fellow luncherers will reappear and you start talking to them regularly. The thing that always structs me is that we human beings have something in common in one way or another; and around a communal table it is often where you get the most unlikely friends and acquaintances. My husband is one of these persons who have met good friends around such tables.
On the other hand, you also see persons coming by themselves who do not want to - or at least do not seem to want to start any conversations whatsoever. And that's a shame, because otherwise why would they then opt for going out to eat altogether!
I am personally probably right in between the two categories. Not chatting away with everybody immediately but always acknowledging my neighbours close to me with a 'hi', a small comment and a smile. I think the world will be a much better and happier place if everybody said 'hi' and smiled to each other more often!