101 Days, 101 Strangers, 101 Stories: Day 32

Today, while on the bus ride home, I overheard a couple of strangers describing a restaurant and struggling to recall the name of it. I happened to know its name and I had a bit of a brief internal battle: sit in silence, or help them out but, in doing so, reveal that I’d been eavesdropping a little the whole time (albeit pretty inadvertently but still). I’d been feeling especially introverted today so I was seriously considering the first option but I decided to speak up anyways, in the name of food.

Aside from the exceptionally noble act of ensuring good food finds good homes, I’m glad I started talking to them.

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Rachel (right) is studying kinesiology. She’s really interested in pursuing physical therapy after graduation, and she’s only one year away! She’s from Japan and grew up as a dancer. She practiced ballet formally until her first year of college. She and her friend started a ballet club at UBC for dancers like herself.

“I can’t swim”, she told me. “I wasn’t allowed to swim when I was younger.” Confused, I asked why. She explained to me that swimming builds muscles in your shoulders that you’re not really allowed or supposed to have as a ballerina. It was pretty restrictive. “I can float, though”, she said, enthusiastically. We shared a laugh. She still enjoys being in the water and scuba diving.

René (left) is more interested in watching sports. But he likes playing ultimate Frisbee. He’s here in Vancouver as an exchange student from Mexico. He’s studying mechanical engineering and is interested in improving the way internal combustion engines work in cars. He speaks Spanish, German, and English. Impressive.

They were both extremely friendly and had a great, positive energy about them. It was nice to be able to finally start a conversation for this project on the bus. They were some of the first strangers I’ve encountered lately without headphones in — without shutting themselves out from conversations with strangers (which can be understandable, [un]fortunately).

I couldn’t for the life of me recall why I shouldn’t have two strangers for today, so I went for it. Now I’m realizing that the answer is screaming at me (thrice!) in the project title. Rachel cleverly suggested I cheat and use this conversation over two days. But I suppose having 102 strangers won’t hurt. The more the merrier, right?


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