Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Power of a Stranger

"Good things happen when you meet strangers." Yo-Yo Ma

The best part of traveling is meeting new people.  Finding out all the cool local stuff that the locals know about always makes me feel like I am being super sneaky and brings me joy.

Now as a student I was super shy, would cry if I had to read aloud.  Not sure what I was so scared of but being a teacher has been a healing experience.  Took the fear of everything.  These days I have been acused of being too friendly.  It was said like I should feel the lashes of the insult...but it was by the Blond Terrorist...she doesn't like people. 

Usually when I talk to people I have one of two reactions.

  1. The people are super happy to talk back and reciprocate the kindness eagerly.  
  2. They ignore me or give the go to hell look.   I am use to this...I teach teens.  There is no meaner monster than a middle school girl.  
We experienced both reactions on this trip.

When we arrived to Seattle we were weary, exhausted from the flight we took the train downtown.  We are both inherently cheap and the $2.50 looked way better then the $45 for the cab.

I am a worrier.  We had no map on how to get to the hotel instead we figured we would be able to use our phones.  Apparently, you are suppose to turn your phones off on the plane and not ignore the flight attendant.  The phones were dead.  On the train my normal friendly ways kicked in...thank goodness.  After digging through bags and finding the dead phones I decided to employ my chatty ways.  The man sitting across from us happend to be staying at the same hotel.  Without much persuasion we had an escort that was nice enough to take us right to the hotel. (Reaction number 1. :)  
Photo Source
 On the other hand...

The next morning we wanted to walk to Pike's Market.  Bright eyed we bounded down to the conciergerie and asked for directions.  She said, "Stay on 6th and it will take you right there."  We were practically skipping excited about being in a new city.  Well, that lasted for a mile and a half of hills and humidity.  After about mile number 3 we were starting to doubt our directions. (Reaction 2 :(

Luckily, we both are a little ADHD when we saw the needle we figured we would just hit that first.  We needed some kind of reward for our long up and down hill hike.   You have to admit it does look pretty cool.

Okay so the conciergerie did not give the warning look she just gave bad directions in a sly attempt to get rid of us.  Tricky evil lady.  

On the upside we got  a cool picture.  We are sweaty and a little beat down looking.  

This time you can see the hint of teeth grinding in my jaw line, and the puffy hair from the ridiculous humidity. Don't get me started on the lighting. And unlike BT I brought with one "jacket" the grey hoody.  Let me tell you the smells coming from this hoody after one weekend were the best kind of repellent against any unwanted advances.  

There was one strange thing...that didn't fit into the two usual reactions.  At every meal the check was always brought to me, totaled together.  Usually we wouldn't think of anything of it, just would throw the money in the tray and tell them to split it.  The last meal out we were sitting next to two women.  They were a cute lesbian couple.  One was older and she was brought the check.  It was at that moment it clicked...holy cow they thought we were gay the entire time and we had no idea.  It is a pretty open city.  She is almost ten years younger...not an insult...I think 


  1. nice!
    I think your second sentence is my favorite in this post.

    I was always self conscious until I started teaching high school kids... man, that gives you a thick skin!
    I'm sleepy or I'd write more... :)
    plus, right now on tv they're saying it might rain somewhere near here so.... wow.

    gotta sit around and fall asleep while checking it out.


  2. The middle school girl is the most fearsome creature because she is not just one entity. She is the accumulation of all of her friends that morf into an unstoppable killing machine.

    Hey, if you HAVE to go lesbian in Seatle you have a cute person to swing to the other side with. Can't we see this as a win/win for everybody?

  3. Thanks for the update. I am getting itchy feet and want to travel...

  4. "There is no meaner monster than a middle school girl." How true! Teaching teenagers strips one of any pride one might have had! LOL
    I relate on the shyness level, too. Painfully shy as a child, I have learned to talk to just about anyone. The brush-offs often produce a private chuckle for me!!!