Year of the Cow!, originally uploaded by mind on fire.

When I was in NYC I picked out all kinds of interesting strangers to start conversations with. In this case, it was a quirky youngish Japanese girl in a cow costume. Others were french fry afficianados, bookstore proprietors, bakery customers, or fellow subway riders. Nearly every random conversation turned into a memorable encounter. John wrote about one particularly serendipitous exchange here.

I'm not usually the type of person who'll strike up a conversation with whoever happens to be nearby. But I think I might just have to change that from here on out.....

What about you? Have you ever had a particularly memorable encounter when chatting with a stranger?


Erin G. said...

Oh yes! My husband and I went hiking in Ilha Grande (a little island off the coast of Brazil) and struck up a conversation with two men who were also hiking. They asked us where we were from and we said "NYC" -- then, one of the men said, "Oh, my aunt owns a bakery there. Well, in Queens actually. On Ditmars. Near 31st Street." Our eyes got big and we were all, "Yeah. We know your aunt's bakery. WE LIVE JUST AROUND THE CORNER!"

Holly said...

Once when I was riding a train through some remote part of Ireland, I struck up a conversation on the train the other guy seated in the compartment. I mentioned that I was from Arizona, and he said he knew someone from Arizona--a couple who was on a mission in Cork. Turns out it was the parents of my high school choir teacher; my mother had given piano lessons to their daughters.

And I also have a friend who will talk to anyone. I was privileged to be involved in any number of fascinating conversations with strangers when I've been hanging out with her. One of the best was when she chatted up this really cool postman who talked about how he knew the religious and political affiliations of everyone on his route, as well as certain things about their financial situation--and he often knew before they did that they were being sued. He also said he loved watching people pretend to be indignant about getting the Victoria's Secret catalogues.

jana said...

One time we were riding a vintage train around the Isle of Man (wee island country in the Irish Sea) and we struck up a convo with a family sharing the train car with us. It turned out, they were from San Diego. Crazy! :)

jana said...

I love my postal carrier--he is truly an awesome person. I always wonder what he thinks about our family based on our incoming mail. :)