So here's my story:
About 4-5 days ago I think I may have missed the opportunity.
I was mountaineering in the Alps ticking off 4000m peaks when I managed to injure my Achilles Tendon. The result of this was that on the final day I had to sit out on when my dad and our guide were climbing the Holograt of the Allalinhorn. There was a mountain restaurant/viewing a few hundred meters below the peak with a vernacular railway for skiers and such. (It was near the Saas Fe ski resort popular with the national snowboarding and skiing teams because of it's glacier skiing. The plan was that we would get up early and then take the railway up where it could stop halfway. At this point my dad and the guide got out and walked up the glacier and the mountain. I took it the rest of the way to the restaurant to wait for them at lunch time (Mountaineering has to be done in the morning).
So basically I sat around for a while, read a book, a newspaper etc and waited until they arrived back. Now soon after I arrived at the restaurant all the ski-brats from the national teams arrived and started getting up so I hid upstairs on the veranda.
So a few hours past... I got horrendously sunburnt without realising it despite my generous lathering of factor 50 cream on my face.... then we got to the moment of importance.
Thanks to my sunburn I had decided to sit in a more public spot where there was a bit more shade. This was basically a park bench and I sat on one side and put my rucksack on the seat next to me. A few hours passed as I got into quite a good book but eventually one of the snowboarders came up from the glacier and sat on the bench opposite me. She had obviously injured her leg or something and started taking off her gear and putting ice while making a lot of groans of pain. Occasionally we would exchange looks but she basically carried on with her business and I carried on with mine. Unfortunately I was a little distracted and quickly got bored of my book and took out the newspaper and then the ipod but I could not concentrate.
At this point I had no idea how to initiate conversation because you see when you are in Switzerland where there are lots of national teams you don't know whether you should address them in any number of languages. I think she had seen what I was reading so she probably knew I spoke English but I wasn't entirely sure. I then heard a bit of her music as she turned her head (these snowboarders and their personal mp3 players) and heard loud hip-hop in the English language. This greatly increased the probability but I still could not be sure.
Then she got her lunch out and kinda looked at me a bit but I still wasn't saying anything. In fact at this point my social anxiety and the high altitude had kinda started to make me shake a little with fear and anxiety. I just carried on reading and she put her lunch away again. She then stood up took a long hard look at me and walked (well hobbled) away.
I just sat there shaking unable to control myself and then packed up my things and went for a walk around to try and calm down. A few hours later my dad finished his climb and I told him that my time had been uneventful.
In discussion with a friend I have decided that I missed out on a golden opportunity to meet someone interesting and athletic... what would you have done in this position?