So there is this thing where complete strangers come to talk to other strangers especially on the subway or as you wait for the train (OR also known as story of my life). No, they are NOT asking for directions. See…at first, it’s almost complimentary, to be thought of approachable, really outgoing and sociable.
Initially I was excited that my attention should be so highly demanded. After further review of all my encounters with these Well Meaning Talking Strangers(WMTS), I have come to realise that most of them are not quite 100%(and if you live in NYC, you’ll agree with me that we do have quite the not so 100% bunch).
Lately I have had a number of these WMTS walk up to me and ask me out to dinner or to death (thanks to the paranoia purely created by movies and DAILY news). Also we now know the kind I attract heh! (This is meant to be funny)
Moving on…today, on my way from Brooklyn, (I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore by what happens on the BK to and fro train), on a really crowded Q train, I stood in front of a young gentleman.
I would like to believe that he did see my HEAVY handbag weighing me down, and although it’s not his fault that I carry heavy handbags, I thought that by some chance he would hear the whispers of some chivalry gods to stand up and offer me his seat. (Yes yes, I am all for gender equality but when am tired and carrying a heavy bag I wouldn’t mind being offered a seat so that I can think about women empowerment!)
Anywho, as the train approached his stop, he pretended to wake up from the nap he wasn’t having, and decided to hold a conversation with me. I do consider myself very polite so I wasn’t going to ignore this whispering stranger despite his borderline alarming behavior (I had a heavy bag, allow me to milk this).
So after reading my non USA Vibe (how? I don’t know either), he leaned in and whispered to me, ‘You look young, how old are you?’This question was followed by the usual, ‘where are you from?’ question.
With the comfort that politeness brings, he went on to tell me how much he absolutely dislikes his life in NYC, how he is only here to study and how he desperately longs to go back to his island state. He tried to get me to hate on my favorite city but unfortunately for him, I did not share in his frustrations.
After his frustrations were made known to me and a few other passengers, (now that he was quite audible), he followed by asking me out to dinner.
I must say courage is a thing well mastered by this group of WMTS, rejection is something foreign to them like the geographical location of my country.
I declined his invitation politely. Well…he took it with surprise like it was such a shock to be rejected especially given how chivalrous he wasn’t and how he misused my African hospitality by holding a conversation that solely promoted his frustration with life. I bet he is agreeable on a normal day, although there’s no such thing as a normal day in NYC.