Random Stranger Danger

| London, England, UK | Friendly | May 27, 2016

(I’m in an underground station, waiting for the next train. A young woman is sitting on the steps, talking on her mobile in hushed tones. A short distance away, an old man is standing alone. They’re clearly strangers to each other. The old man seems to be mumbling to himself.)

Old Man: *suddenly speaking loudly, pointing at the tracks with his cane* “Be careful, that’s very dangerous!” *goes back to mumbling*

(A few seconds later.)

Young Woman: *hangs up the phone, then yells in frustration* “SHE’S SUCH A B****!”

Old Man: *not missing a beat or turning his head* “I told you so.”

(The young woman looked at him confusedly for a moment, and then started giggling with everyone else.)

Almost Convinced You

, | Perth, WA, Australia | Friendly | May 25, 2016

(On my way to my university, I leave a train, and head to the ticket check. While I’m moving, I hear someone calling out behind me. I move forward, ignoring him, until…)

Stranger: “Hey! Hey!”

(He shakes my hand, and I realise he was calling out for me.)

Stranger: “You don’t know me, but I’ve got to say, I love your hair. It reminds me of this band, this guy, in The Almost, see?”

(He shows me his phone, showing this “Almost” thing and a guitarist who sort-of looks like me, if you squint.)

Stranger: “You should listen to his band. Do you like it? It’s a good song. What sort of music do you listen to?”

(I’m normally quiet, and I can’t think of what to say… especially since my taste in music is very non-conventional.)

Stranger: “Do you like rock?”

Me: “Uh… maybe?”

(I mean, I like music that sometimes is rock?)

Stranger: “You should check out this song. The band’s called The Almost, and the song is [Name]. Anyway, I know you don’t know me, but I love your hair. I’ve got to go now. See you!”

(He shook my hand again, and he finally walked off, just in time for my bus to arrive and for me to start my next leg of the journey, in the opposite direction of his.)

Can’t Top That

| Westchester, NY, USA | Romantic | April 11, 2016

(My boyfriend, some friends and I are going into the city from the suburbs to have bottomless brunch, where you pay a flat fee to have as many alcoholic drinks as you want, within a certain time limit. As we’re leaving my house my boyfriend asks if he can grab a beer for the train, which I think is weird seeing as we’re about to get unlimited drinks, but I say sure.)

Boyfriend: *waiting on train platform* “So, I brought a [Beer] and a [Different Brand Beer] for the train…”

Friend: “Wow, you go hard… We’re about to have unlimited drinks!”

Boyfriend: “What? That’s what ‘bottomless’ means?”

Me: *laughing* “Yeah, what did you think it meant?”

Boyfriend: “I don’t know. I thought it was just a cute name!”

College Is Good For One Thing At Least

| NY, USA | Working | December 10, 2015

(A friend and I unexpectedly have to take the train back from Thanksgiving break. As we wait in line to pick up our tickets, I see several large signs saying you’re required to have government issued ID to take the train. I start to panic since I don’t have any one me.)

Me: *to cashier* “I’m sorry but I don’t have any government-issued ID on me. Is there any way I could still ride?”

Friend: *to me* “Do you have your college ID? Maybe that would work?”

Me: *to cashier* “I do have my college ID but that’s not government issued…”

Cashier: “Oh, that’s fine, honey! Colleges are like the government!”

(Happily handed us our tickets.)

The Hunger Shames

| Helsingborg, Sweden | Friendly | November 16, 2015

(I’m standing in a kiosk, looking at four Romanian Romani that have previously tried to beg for money from me. The group consists of a mother, a teen, and two children below the age of ten. They’re going to buy a cola and two biscuits. A woman approaches me.)

Woman: “Oh, look at those! They beg you for money and then they buy THAT. Shame on them.”

Me: “I know, right? That’s no dinner.”

Woman: “It sure isn’t!”

Me: “So I’m going to buy them dinner.”

Woman: *looking incredibly shocked* “What?”

Me: “Three of them are children. They have nowhere to live and nowhere to cook. They can’t buy proper food. There’s a pasta place down the road. I’ll buy them takeaway pasta for tonight.”

Woman: “Well… I…”

(Ignoring her, I told the group of my offer and was lucky enough that there was someone nearby that could translate. At least for one night, four people didn’t go hungry. Wherever you are, lady, I hope you grow some empathy.)

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