Readers share their encounters with strangers

Folks who are reading Strangers Have the Best Candy have started sharing their stories about encounters with strangers!

“I practiced taking candy from strangers today in the aisle at Target — a simple little comment turned into a deep discussion about ballet and the merits of the American Ballet Theater versus the New York City Ballet. We talked for over an hour and it was fabulous. I’m usually rather shy about talking with strangers, but since I had been reading your book earlier, I guess I was predisposed to being more amenable. So thank you!” ~Taube, New York City

“A new recipe for homemade tonic led me to the one place in Seattle to buy cichona bark, the Apothecary at Pike Place Market.  On a rainy Saturday, I invited my German host student downtown for a shopping adventure, and we made our way through the umbrella-toting tourists, passed the flying fish, and down the hallway to the Apothecary.

“I marched up to the counter, knowing exactly what large glass jar on the floor-to-ceiling shelves held my bark, and a sweet-smiled African American man with a long train of graying hair approached me from behind to take my order. He quickly determined that I was not from Seattle, and we laughed at how local people don’t make small talk quite like East Coasters. Ignoring the growing line forming behind me, he looked up the medicinal benefits of cichona, recounted for me his recent trip to Israel, and talked about his other travels.

“I walked out of the store with a smile on my face because I had made a friend for the fifteen minutes I was in that store.  That in some ways that man understood me and my foreignness in this city more than people I have known for years. Something worth toasting with a glass of my homemade batch of tonic and gin.” ~Nancy, Seattle.

My wife and I exchanged a look as we got out of the car…What had we gotten ourselves into, we wondered

If it hadn’t been for my wife’s willingness to be open to these strangers, we never would have experienced Mexico the way we did that day, away from the normal tourist attractions, in an establishment that clearly catered to a local clientele.  We would have missed out on a little taste of what life in that part of Mexico is like.  And, most importantly, we wouldn’t have made new friends.~Andy, Alexandria, Virginia (Read Andy’s entire post on his blog)