Strangers over for dinner…REALLY???

a fountain

by Kenneth Justice

~Yesterday morning I was sitting in an outdoor coffee house at the base of the Arenal Volcano, one of the five most active volcano’s in the world when a 70ish couple from San Diego sat down at my table. The boyfriend was born in Mexico City and is part Aztek and the girlfriend is originally from New York (they are both artists) . Their time here in Costa Rica is the final two weeks of what has been a 14 month journey around the world which started in Columbia, spanned numerous countries throughout Europe and is ending here in Costa Rica.

When I asked them what was the most memorable part of their trip that they will remember for the rest of their lives they both said that it was the people they’ve met along the way, “When we were in Berlin we met a German man at an art museum whom we started talking to and before we realized what was happening he had invited us over to his house for lunch and then dinner” the 72 year old Aztek artist told me.

The café where I met the couple from San Diego

The café where I met the couple from San Diego

They stayed in Barcelona for four weeks and while there they met many different people at various café’s and often found themselves staying at the homes of strangers for overnight stays, “Its amazing how many strangers we have met at café’s, museums, and various different places who invite us to their houses and also who have given us bedrooms to sleep in at no charge” the girlfriend told me.

Earlier today I began making the long trek to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and when I got into the Capital city of San Jose I couldn’t find the correct highway which would take me to the coast. And so we stopped at a Gas Station to ask for directions and one of the employees told us that the way to get to the highway is very difficult to find and so he offered to drive in front of us to get us headed in the right direction. For the next 35 minutes we followed the employee as he weaved in and out of rush hour traffic….we must have made more than 50 different turns on to all sorts of streets; and then when we finally arrived to the Highway I pulled beside him to give him a few dollars for helping us out…but he wouldn’t take it. I couldn’t believe it…..here was a simple gas station attendant employee who drove more than 35 minutes out of his way to get us onto the right road and he wouldn’t even accept money to cover his gas……something like that would never happen in the United States, would it?

I’m originally from Chicago, and I couldn’t imagine driving through rush hour traffic to help a stranger get back on to the right expressway. Sure, there’s been many times when I’ve helped people out with directions…..but would I go out of my way like this Costa Rican employee did for me today?

The barista making my coffee

The barista making my coffee

And what about the couple from San Diego and all of the strangers they met on their travels around the world this year and how people they had merely met at a coffee shop would invite them over for dinner and to spend the night? Doesn’t that sound like something out of the Medieval Ages?

Would people in the United States invite someone they met at a coffee shop over for dinner to their house? Would people in the United States invite someone they met at a museum to spend the night?

I’ve been thinking about this all day during my drive to the Caribbean; have we from more developed nations become too cynical, too rude, or too disconnected from our fellow human beings?

Has the fast paced lives back home in countries like the United States caused us to believe strangers…..can’t become our friends?

Arenal Volcano can be seen from the street where the coffee shop is at

Arenal Volcano can be seen from the street where the coffee shop is at

Yet…..as I think about these questions something else strikes me as profound; when I announced that I’m traveling to as many U.S. States and Countries as I can to visit with readers and bloggers at various coffee shops; my email INBOX and my comments blew up with offers for me to stay at people’s houses……..I have been totally amazed at how many people are interested in meeting with me and have asked me to stay with them at their house or apartment.

So, even though in many ways I feel that the United States has gone in a negative direction with regard to community and connectivity…….I see a small glimmer of hope…..perhaps people aren’t as cynical as I’ve thought they were.

Perhaps this journey I’m making around the world is my opportunity to learn the true nature of where Western Culture is and where we are going as a people. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I was going to accept all of the various offers people have made about staying at their homes…..but now I believe that this might end up being the most beneficial aspect of my year long journey as it will give me the opportunity to truly drink in the culture of all of the various places I am going.

The couple from San Diego visited some of the most beautiful and amazing places in the world; they viewed some of the greatest works of art known to humanity…….yet it was the people they met along the way that became the greatest source of inspiration they found which moved them emotionally……

Perhaps there is hope for humanity,

The best part of my coffee this morning is that when I went to pay the Barista told me that someone else paid for it…..a stranger….and I never found out who it was.

Kenneth

 

 



Categories: Drinking in the Culture

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86 replies

  1. Just wanted to say that all is not so bleak. Yes, there are people in the United States who will help out a total stranger. I was the stranger, and I received help from people who basically only knew my name and shared a few chats over Gtalk/Skype. Some of them even gave my family and me a place to stay when we were facing homelessness…whereas people we knew, family even basically turned one eye blind when we needed help.

    • Wow, so impressive that people stepped up to help you in that kind of circumstance…..its sad that I hear so many stories of families that turn their ‘blind eyes’ to relatives in need…but I’m glad it worked out for you 🙂

  2. Love this post!!! We have become distant from people… I mean, most Americans don’t even really know their own neighbors who LIVE around them for decades! My family actually isn’t like that – for Halloween this year I invited all the children that came to our door into our house so they could eat with us nachos and punch and decorate their own cookies. Most loved it and came in, but some thought it was just weird (which it is for America)… but it was fun!!!! Soooo doing it again.

    • very cool Halloween idea…..I’m not really sure what I would think if I were in the situation to have knocked on your door during Halloween and then been invited in….I would hope that I wouldn’t be suspicious

    • We used to do this all the time. My dad would lay on the ground and be Frankenstein…getting up and scaring the kids. My mother dressed as a witch would invite kids to come in for witches brew (dry ice punch) and spider eggs (powdered donuts). Can you imagine anyone eating or drinking anything that wasn’t wrapped in an airtight sealed bag? Halloween used to be about creativity…not candy!

  3. I guess most westerners would view simple offers of accommodation from strangers as suspicious. But I imagine in Eastern countries, it would part of the culture to give/offer to guests (no matter how poor they themselves were).

    I also wonder if the poorer you are, the more generous you are (with what little you have), anyway.

  4. I may be overly optimistic. But I can live with that. Scratch the surface and there is a lot of good stuff waiting to pop out. Wherever you are in the world. Some parts may have a thicker surface, others a thinner one. “Hope for humanity”? Maybe just hope we recognise how much good stuff there is when we open ourselves up as you are doing.

    And good on you for considering offers of free beds. It is one thing chatting, quite another “living with” someone, no matter how briefly. You will connect even more. Maybe because you allow them “to give” rather than just talk over a coffee. Just make it plain that “the giving” carries no obligation on your part – or else you run the risk of doing what someone else wants go you.

    I was reading another traveller’s blog. They said the same thing. They remember the people more than anything else.

    • Paul,

      I guess its easy to allow the television to ‘tell us’ what the world looks like; and tv makes it seem like the world is cold dark place where everyone is obsessed with sex, and people are generally unfriendly……..but perhaps the ‘real world’ is not nearly as dark as we think it is……

    • That sand is doing you good.

  5. Love this post. We have become so untrusting that we forget the goodness in people and there are a lot more good people than bad.

  6. I do agree there is a lot of cynicism in the US because of the crime and the news about the crime, possibly. I don’t think I would invite a complete stranger to stay in my house; however, we did last summer at the beach. My husband and I spotted a couple next to us pitching a small dome tent. We thought the tent was just a little shelter for the baby. As the day melted into night, we were getting ready to go. The couple had a 3 month old baby, and my husband asked them if they were actually spending the night there. They said yes, and that is when he invited them to stay with us. They were from out of town, so he warned them about coyotes that run around at night that are pretty bold around humans. They did not take us up on the invite, but we left them our phone number telling them that they can call us at 3 a.m. if they need to. We did not get a call.

    Another time, my 8 year old daughter and I were in airport in Mexico City. We were going to have to get to Cuernavaca by bus and later take a taxi to our destination. A huge airport is confusing enough, but to realize that you are alone with your young girl and to realize how weak your Spanish really is makes it much more confusing! I was asking several people about the busses when this lady said she was originally from Cuenavaca. She told us to stick with her. She helped us all the way to our destination —two and a half hours later. She was truly an angel.

    So, you never know. I think every situation is different. Maybe people pick up on vulnerabilities of the strangers and feel compelled to help out. We felt that we should offer help to the couple with the baby. The gracious lady in Mexico saw that we were lost ladies in another country, and maybe she felt she needed to help.

    • wow! you’ve definitely got some mental fortitude about you to take an 8 year old from Mexico City to Cuenavaca, kudos to you. The more I’ve been thinking about it the more I realize the common sense to it; the lady who help you out, the guy that helped me yesterday; if we see someone in need we wouldn’t want them stumbling around in the dark or in these cases stumbling around lost in the city……so they helped because its a matter of mere human decency

  7. What a great post. Maybe people haven’t changed all that much at all. It’s just the way we meet that changes. Once, you might have arrived in a new town and met a stranger. Now you can meet a stranger online from your own living room. But we still reach out to connect with one another. And the world is still full of people who want to be generous and helpful and kind.

    • exactly; back in the day there was no Internet so we were forced to meet in more real life circumstances, but now its merely the ‘way’ we meet….but things are still the same 🙂

  8. Sweet! I was going to invite you to stay at my home but then I thought, “how do I know he isn’t a serial killer?” 😀

  9. There is hope for human kind. of that i am sure. if we are willing to start sharing more of that little we have.
    what a wonderful story. About those Germans. They have a bad name but can be so kind.

  10. great art, music, and coffee chops (local) in Kansas City, Missouri… if you get here, let us know… we have a downtown loft

  11. There actually is a website dedicated to sharing a place in one’s home for a night or two with a stranger – CouchSurfing.com! And an extension of that, there is also a website (which I have used) where people rent out a room or their whole place to anyone who might need it. AirBnB.com! It actually functions similarly to eBay where users rate the experiences of the renter/rentee. “The sharing economy” is a pretty interesting thing that has risen out from the Internet!

    • I’ve recently heard about that website….it is very interesting because it seems like that is a natural extension of our human inclination to reaching out to each other in unique ways of connectivity….now we are simply using the Internet to do it and it seems like a good thing 🙂

  12. You may never may never have a need to pay rent\a mortgage again. Lol

    I used to joke that I could easily have been a vagabond, as soaking in new cultures is such an interest of mine. The older I get the more fearful I become of the safety of it all.

    Thanks for the reminder that people are still amazing givers.

    • Audrey,

      I won’t lie to ya; as I was following the guy yesterday in our car, and we made one twisty turn after another down VERY lonely streets….I kept wondering if we were gonna come to a dead end where we would be surrounded by a bunch of people who would rob us……we were after all in the capital city San Jose and its not the most safe place in Costa Rica…..yet there we were in San Jose and the first stranger we ask for help goes totally out of his way to get us back on the correct road and he refuses to accept money…..pretty cool if ya ask me

    • I think that is pretty freaking awesome! I love moments were we can prove people are good, hardworking and trustworthy.

  13. I agree that poor people tend to be more hospitable towards strangers than the better off, who are afraid you may make off with the silver! That said, I have encountered some incredibly kind and hospitable Americans in all kinds of circumstances and have come to the conclusion you just can’t generalise. But maybe there’s something extravert already about people who are prepared to chat to a stranger in a coffee shop – that makes them more likely to offer help and a bed? Love your service station story – talk about meeting angels unawares!

    • Catherine,

      totally agree with ya…..I think the problem for me as an American is that since I live in the U.S. I have the opportunity to see the bad side of American’s too much because I’m surrounded by them….but perhaps if I only visited the U.S. I would have a more gracious perspective of it.

  14. Kenneth, In the past few years we have experienced the kindness of strangers. Initially it began with our children both going on Rotary exchange – our daughter to Denmark, our son to the Czech Republic. We decided to visit them both while they were away (they were on exchange 4 years apart) and the people in each country all but rolled out a red carpet for us. We were invited to eat, sleep, and visit with so many all because our kids had become part of their family and culture. We try to do the same whenever we can. When friends – or folks new to us – are in need we have offered whatever we have. It just feels good to share. But it does bring to mind a question I was asked quite a few times about the gratitude project I created (pieadaygiveaway) that always surprised me. “Why are you doing this? (giving away pies). Some saw it as a marketing ploy, while others wondered where the money was in it for me. There was no way to explain to these folks that I was receiving as much, or more, as I was giving. And that is kind of sad. They are missing a lot.
    Enjoy your travels, stay safe, and if you make it to Ashland, OR, there’ll be a pie and a coffee waiting (and lodging if desired).

    • ““Why are you doing this? (giving away pies). Some saw it as a marketing ploy, while others wondered where the money was in it for me. There was no way to explain to these folks that I was receiving as much, or more, as I was giving. And that is kind of sad. They are missing a lot.”

      wow, such a beautiful and sad point you make

  15. I grew up in a time where people did reach out to others…strangers. My mother’s best friend came as a result of driving past a Japanese lady gardening. She felt impelled to stop and chat with her and they became friends, twenty years later she was in Japan, staying with her on vacation. We also would put out notices at the local bases duriing the holidays. Any soldier with no place to go was welcome at our house. And, once when I was driving to from Phoenix to San Francisco I ran across a Mexican family of eight at a rest stop. Their car had broken down in the middle of nowhere. Though they spoke no English and my Spanish was minimal we were able to understand each other enough that I agreed to take the women, elderly and children to LA while the men fixed the car. I crammed five people in my small car and took them 300 miles to a family members house in LA. I’m not sure that a single woman would feel comfortable doing that today.
    I am glad that you are learning more about the wonderful experiences ahead of you…connecting to people…it will really change your life and the way you think about things. I do hope that you take advantage of some of the offers for lodging that have been presented…you are our Ambassador on this trip. We all want to believe that people still do these things…people still care…and we want you to help us prove this to be true!

  16. About 20 years ago, a friend of mine planned a trip to Italy, but did not plan for hotels. She assumed that someone she met when she arrived would either help her find something or offer her space in their own home. She arrived in Rome, got in a taxi, and ended up staying with the taxi driver’s mother for a week. Twenty years later she’s still friends with the taxi driver’s mother. They exchange letters a few times each year. Amazed me when I heard about it, but it does happen.

  17. I was blasted by a few family members when I invited a homeless man, who was sleeping in his car at Walmart, to come and spend a couple days at my house. “It’s so dangerous!” Well, I didn’t think about it. Two months later I was the homeless one, and it was the kindness of strangers who got me through and not my family. We are all a part of one another…humanity as a whole. We need to help each other along.

    • Kim, its amazing to me how many people in your situation have been helped by strangers….its a beautiful thing 🙂

    • Kevin, many of us rely on the kindness of strangers. I have been helped out of some really tough spots by people I have never met, while my family never offered. It is weird how we can get more judgment from those who are supposed to love us, and generosity from total strangers.

  18. Reblogged this on Quiet Desperation and commented:
    If you have not been following along on this blogger’s journey you are missing out. Kevin’s writing and perspectives are worth looking at…I never have my morning tea without him.

  19. This post has got me thinking about how American culture differs from most of the world and I wonder if it has anything to do with the relative youngness of our society and the way we went about breaking away from our parent country. We had much to prove, we had a chip on our shoulders, we grew up (as a country) with the mentality that the strong would survive and being ruthless is how you got ahead. Trusting others and having to depend on them made you weak and vulnerable and that trickled down into our every day dealings over the centuries. Obviously not everyone is like that, many individuals are still willing to take a chance and help a stranger, possibly because many Americans did migrate over from other countries and managed to hold onto their traditions and customs. Both husband and I were raised to be helpful to elders and others who needed it, that sense of duty to our communities is something we have managed to hold onto even after numerous people have taken advantage of our kindness. I will never tire of hearing that there are other people out there who are still willing to be decent and helpful to others, whether they are strangers or not, because those are the stories we need to hear more of. We learn from the example of others and if all we hear about is negative we will never know there is another way. Thank you!

    • “Obviously not everyone is like that, many individuals are still willing to take a chance and help a stranger, possibly because many Americans did migrate over from other countries and managed to hold onto their traditions and customs.”

      agreed, so much of it has to do with the type of families we were raised in; some of us were raised in families where helping and interacting with strangers is second nature….others of us are a bit more cynical

  20. We got to trust, to be trusted. Give a smile, offer help, don’t ignore life around us, because we would lose our own shade, always living in the Dark.
    Sadly I’ve met lot of cold, selfish, disconnected American people, but I’ve also met few generous, unforgettable strangers.
    There is no forest with out pigs. 😀
    I remember years ago in Europe in our vacation time with family, my parents would invite strangers for lunch right after a conversation at the beach, a volleyball game, or just sharing cards game.. Just the little things that make the human connection . Miss those days.

    Must of been some hot burning coffee near Arenal Volcano.. Please watch your steps.. Lol we all like to read your drinking adventure.

    • “I remember years ago in Europe in our vacation time with family, my parents would invite strangers for lunch right after a conversation at the beach, a volleyball game, or just sharing cards game.. Just the little things that make the human connection . Miss those days. ”

      exactly, now that sounds like a splendid way to spend the day 🙂

  21. A year or so ago, while sitting at my favorite watering hole, I overheard a young couple next to me ask the bartender where they could find a campground for the night.

    Without thinking, I told them that I lived nearby, and that they would be more than welcome to come over and pitch their tent in my backyard. Then I called my partner and told him what I had done.

    It turned out that they worked every year at the large festival we worked at, and we had a wonderful time hanging out. We are still friends.

    Good story, Kenneth. By the way, when, if… you decide to stay here, you can sleep inside!

    Rhan

    • Good! Cuz I’m not much of a camper 😉 and I adore hot showers!!! I am so glad that the hostel I’m staying in here on the Caribbean (where I’m typing this from has hot water….gosh I can’t tell you how happy I am cuz the last hostel only had cold water

  22. It’s always good to be surprised in a positive way 🙂

    Great post as always.

  23. You be careful with that volcano, Kenneth and please keep rediscovering for us the humankind…What a beautiful story you have shared today!

  24. There is, and will be, hope for humanity, as long as there are humans. I have found this sort of decency everywhere, even in New York City and Los Angeles. People do what they can for one another.

  25. Way back in the 70’s when I was in college (sounds like medieval or dark ages), I visited Europe with my college roommate (her parents were in Antwerp b/c of his job). We took several day trips from there and saw some amazing places. I will always remember when we ate at restaurants how people were seated at our tables–no seats went unfilled. On Christmas eve we were in Rothenburg and a couple was seated at our table. We connected with them and they invited us to their home and later visited us in Antwerp. It’s not something I would expect here in the Midwest. But even if I don’t end up inviting someone home, I do try to connect when I can.

    • Thinking about your comment: Perhaps this journey I’m making around the world is my opportunity to learn the true nature of where Western Culture is and where we are going as a people.

      While it would be nice to think that you will get a sense of where we are headed and come away with hope, I wonder if you will only get a picture of a subculture. There are far more people who aren’t into this than are.

      Just thinking out loud….

    • awesome awesome examples 🙂 only wish this was standard fare everywhere these days

  26. super cool post – and the ending surprised me (but so fit the whole feel of course) but to have your coffee paid for – purdy cool!

    and sometime I will have to tell you about the time in the early 90’s – I met a family (divorced dad who brought his kids to CO) and had them over for lunch and an afternoon of fun…. and well, there is a very sad part to this story – but this is not the time – but just wanted to add that I also think hospitality is alive and well throughout the world –

    however, while it is nice to trust and connect, I think we still have to use wisdom – and be careful with inviting and/or accepting invites – trust – but also go with the gut!

    oh yeah – and speaking of getting directions from strangers while on vacation – that was pretty cool how the man drive in front of you!! We had a different experience last August – we were in Niagara Falls and our group was walking to see the Canadian side -and we think the lady actually gave us “wrong” directions to the falls on purpose. well some thought that….

    but We asked the lady at the front desk how to get to the falls – she told us go up to the 5th light, then left two blocks -etc. – and well, when we f i n a l l y got there- and walked 15+ minutes – and seemed like we were moving away from the mist – well it was closed off and we had to walk back down the way we came – and it ended up being the other way – and was one block form our asking point! so we were all like, “why did’t she tell us that way???? And one of the suspicious persons in our party insisted she had a smirk on her face and it was tourist sabotage, and then someone else thought it was just someone being ditzy, well who knows – but next time – iPhone maps all the way. ha ha

    anyhow, hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

    • lol good story…..I had the option to get a gps for the rental car but I always say no because I like the adventure…..I’ve had a lot of really interesting things happen over the years via traveling and getting lost so now its a way of life for me 🙂

  27. It’s always the people . . . except for those who have been taught to fear them. . .

  28. Great post as you can tell by all the positive replies. My friend and I were backpacking around Turkey a couple of years ago. We wandered the streets of a small town back and forth looking for accommodation when a man came out of a barber’s shop with half a hair cut to ask if we were lost. He took us to his wife where they invited us to stay with them. He then went back to finish his hair cut. We found kindness like that all around Turkey and many other countries. human kindness is alive and well and far out ways any bad elements.

  29. I find kind people everywhere, Kenneth (including you).

  30. I love visiting your blog, your posts makes me stop and think, take a few steps back and reflect.
    Inspiring post ^^

  31. You read my blog about the time I picked up a stranger from an airport and drove to another strangers house to party with a bunch of strangers before going to the video game orchestral concert we were all attending. It was the best experience of my life, but I have yet to meet one person IRL who will tell me that it was a good idea. Just today, my boyfriend and I were discussing our trip to Peru next year and he says, “just so you know, when we get there, we will never leave each other’s sides. I don’t want something happening to you like you. You hear those kinds of stories all the time.”

    But if it’s common for people to open up their homes, then maybe those few bad experiences are rare. Maybe it’s not that Americans are more cynical. Maybe our media is more cynical, giving us a warped sense of the world.

    • “Maybe our media is more cynical, giving us a warped sense of the world.”

      TK, I’m really beginning to believe that its the media; maybe I’m wrong to put so much blame on it…but how can’t I when so many people watch so MUCH television…..at some point its got to be a major influencer of how we view the world

  32. So what you’re saying is that beneath the surface of people as “a nation” – as a perceived united identity – when you engage with individuals they are mostly kind and accommodating. That is my experience of other cultures too.

  33. I think people are mostly kind at heart. I had a similar experience in a neighborhood restaurant in Greece. Didn’t speak a word of Greek and the people in the restaurant no English. Trying to order food was getting nowhere fast. Next thing I knew the cook came from behind the counter and took us back into the kitchen and started opening pots for us to identify what we wanted to eat. I will never forget that. And the food was awesome. I think people kinda a put themselves in your place and treat you how they would want to be treated were the situations reversed.

    I am really enjoying your posts, great job!

  34. We often hear so much of the negative but not enough of the good things people do. Selflessness and acts of kindness just aren’t as newsworthy (or polarizing). I’m afraid we aren’t exposed to these random acts of kindness as much as we should be here in the States.

    Hopefully, your journey will not only be enlightening but perhaps it may even restore our faith in our fellow man as well. May your paths lead you to peaceful places and open hearts!

  35. Kenneth, You got good me on this post! I was reading along thinking, sure, I get it, sounds normal to me, I would totally invite a stranger over… and then I waited … and waited. “No he can’t be serious,” I said to my tablet. Then… we got to the volcano and you turned around and said, “Yet…” YES! The cynics do not win this one!
    I agree with Mrs. P. In a way “you are our Ambassador on this trip. We all want to believe that people still do these things…people still care…and we want you to help us prove this to be true!”

    I’m not convinced that poor people are more open and hospitable necessarily. Perhaps they have less to fear because they have less to lose, but in general I think middle class people can be just as, if not more, hospitable because they have means and opportunity. (I won’t make you sleep in the backyard, but you can if you want to!)

    I wonder if you would have an opportunity to get into a deep enough conversation say in NYC to be invited home, but certainly in many of our smaller towns I have to believe your readers are right. Or maybe, it’s just that you attract a certain kind of goodhearted reader? I like to think so.

    Enjoy the remainder of your Costa Rican pura vida. (Bring a couple of boxes of it back for the rest of us!)

    • “I’m not convinced that poor people are more open and hospitable necessarily. Perhaps they have less to fear because they have less to lose, but in general I think middle class people can be just as, if not more, hospitable because they have means and opportunity. (I won’t make you sleep in the backyard, but you can if you want to!)”

      yea, its not that I’m saying I believe 100% that poor people are more kind and hospitable….its just weird that here in costa rica the people seem so much more kind than the average person I meet back home in the states….and it doesn’t seem like there is any explanation for this oddity

  36. People are afraid and i am very much like that, but that is because i am very paranoid and i see danger in every gesture and it is difficult to trust people. For example. there’s a trend going on here where you stick these white stick figure stickers on the back window of your car to represent your family. they’re awfully cute. But then i keep thinking.. a rapist or some kind of syndicate.. could then immediately see what the family is made of. If he sees the sticker of just a mother and child, he knows that they are vulnerable. Or the fact that dad likes fishing, so he knows that dad is likely to go on weekend fishing trips, leaving his family behind. It’s hard to trust people and their intensions

    But sometimes you do go out on a limb and try to connect with a stranger and you hope and pray that you have no reason to be scared.

    • It is very difficult to trust…..especially to trust strangers. hell, a lot of us are simply trying to learn how to trust the loved ones in our lives who have let us down and hurt us in the past……

      thanks for the great thoughts

  37. The separateness and distance in finding what you describe in the USA doesn’t mean it is not a part of some people’s lives; i think people are just careful especially when you hear of the crime which turns out to be committed from your next door neighbor, so people are careful. There people know each other from the time they are born and that’s who they grow up with, so it might be easier to embrace a stranger. 1 against 10000.

  38. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is a fascinating post and a great insight into people. Good luck with your cafe tour!

  39. Sorry. This is very interesting, but I couldn’t take all that interaction. Whew!

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