I usually don’t have any random encounters with strangers. Since I don’t really spend my time outside, prefer caving indoors. I think my longest streak of being outside, with strangers, were riding in the train, on my way to and back from work when I was an intern.
Anyways, strangers imo means people you don’t know, be it their names or where they’re from. They can be people you’ve seen regularly but never sparks up a conversation with. Just acknowledging each other’s existence from afar. They can be that kid who stared at the floor of the train the whole time he’s riding in it. Might be that other kid who listened to his music too damn loud you get curious that his eardrums didn’t burst or something.
The most vivid and funny encounters would be when a makcik actually asked me for directions and I ended up giving the wrong one. When I realized my mistake, she was already gone. Sorry. Some guy even caught me speeding up the stairs and stopped me (instead of asking anyone else who’re at their leisure, seriously dude) and asked me which train he should take for his destination. Thank God I gave him the right directions back then.
Talking about stairs though, the Masjid Jamek LRT Station have one hell of a stairs. Tangga Batu Caves, literally.
I can actually still remember those routine strangers I met. The Chinese couple who’d rode with me in the train and eventually rode the same bus to their college. They took Arts, always with their sketching board. Always together. That foreigner guy whom I saw daily taking the train and the bus. I think he was a professor or something at an educational institution near my intern place. Or that guy (always with his tie and sling bag, at times with spectacles) who rode the taxi and stopped at the train station where I was waiting for the bus.
OH or, that auntie who talked by herself every single morning in the train (she still is apparently). She was always preaching about something, at times about her family, other times about religion. Always carrying a bag with old newspapers in it and an old photo album. She’d went on talking non-stop until she reached her destination. Every encounter I had with her, I’d unplugged my earphones from my ears and listened to her preach, although they’re mostly gibberish. I’ve always believed that somehow you get to learn things from actually listening to people around you, whoever they are.
My observation and contemplation skills were brushed up during my days riding on the train though. Lol.
Yeah, here’s to meeting more interesting strangers in the future 🙂