**I got connected to someone on Opentalk who came to my country for an exchange program which backfired a little. Makes me wonder how safe or unsafe we are in a different country. **
I did an exchange to a small town in eastern Germany. Not a horror story, but a weird experience. I stayed with a very conservative husband and wife–no computer, the phone was ‘costly’ (even with my phone card, I was told) so I was allowed to briefly call my parents when I arrived to let them know I was ok and give them the host family’s phone number.
I didn’t hear from them for several weeks, and I was homesick and having a hard time. When I asked to use the phone, the family suggested I have my parents call instead because it would be cheaper. I walked to an internet cafe in town and sent an email.
The next day the host mom gave me the phone; it was my high school German teacher. She asked if I was ok and then put my mom on the line. Apparently, my mom had tried calling several times, and when the host family heard English or her limited German, they just hung up and didn’t say anything to me.
Thanks to Opentalk, I get to be part of an endless network of conversations.