Tonight, I was on the bus when a man walked in and extended his hand toward me. “I’m Justin”, he said.
He warmly introduced himself to everyone sitting in the back of the bus, asking our names in return. In just a couple of minutes, Justin had transformed a quiet bus ride of strangers sitting alone together into a warm community.
We all chatted with each other. One girl even said, “now that we’re all talking, I might as well ask: does anyone have a stick of gum?” Of course, Justin did, and of course, he passed his pack of gum around happily to everyone in the back of the bus.
When someone new would enter the bus, Justin would ask them their name and would then introduce them to the rest of us.
Justin was with a girl named Stephanie. I asked him how they knew each other.
“He just approached me on the street”, Stephanie said. And then they spent the whole day together, completely spontaneously. They walked from one side of Vancouver to the other, meeting plenty of strangers along the way. Justin recently moved to Vancouver from Ontario, and so it was a great way for him to explore.
I told him that I loved his attitude and openness, and then, of course, I told him about my project. He thought it was a great idea. “You should let me help you with your project”, he said. “I could help you meet 101 strangers in 10 days.” I couldn’t help but laugh.