Finding Friends in Strangers

Finding Friends in Strangers


3 years ago I was holidaying in Venice – the beautiful city that cradles on water, the marvelous city that welcomes people from across the world to spend a splendid few days in the lap of its architectural and natural magnificence.

One evening I decided to taste the famous coffee of one its many cafes and went to a hillside cafe, a few hundred meters away from my medieval hotel. A walk through its hilly cobbled streets, bridges and quaint old little churches, interspersed with little coffee houses, trailed by carefree men on their cycles led me to this modest cafe, where that evening I was the only guest.

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A young pretty Italian girl, 18 or 19 years old, came to take my order. She was full of life and a little raw. She smiled at me.

As I wasn’t sure which coffee I’d like to try that evening, so I used my old tactic — of asking for a recommendation of the house 🙂

‘I like a noticeable taste of coffee in my coffee. Which one do you recommend?’ I asked the young Italian girl.

She didn’t understand what I had said.  I saw her smile turn into a nervous question mark. Seeing her confusion, I asked in simpler words, ‘Suggest me a good coffee.’ Now she understood. And she suggested me something which I didn’t understand because of her strong Italian accent but I decided to go with her. She went in to get my coffee prepared.

In a few minutes, she came out again and stood near me. She was looking to make a conversation.

‘You are from India?’ she asked me. I told her I was.

‘You are Christian?’  – ‘No. I’m a Hindu.’

‘Do you have many people and cows there?’ – I laughed. ‘Actually, yes, we do.’

‘India is very coloured?’ – ‘Yes, it’s very colorful.’

‘You do yoga?’ – ‘Sometimes.’

‘Is it warm there?’ — ‘It’s HOT’

She wanted to know so much. I was surprised by her knowledge of the far-away countries. She devoured information of the worlds beyond Italy.

She wanted to study further but not in Italy. ‘I don’t like it here. It’s boring. I want to see Argentina.’

‘Why Argentina?’ I asked. ‘Because it’s far.’ And she gave me a hopeful look.

I realized what she was itching for — she wanted an overwhelming and challenging experience in life, something that would make life more exciting, an experience that would make her life an adventure…

Of course, she had no idea that I, a girl who grew up in a world very different from hers, would understand the cry of her soul so well…

HAVE YOU STRUCK UP A CONVERSATION WITH A STRANGER AND REALIZED THAT THEY UNDERSTAND YOU BETTER THAN YOUR BEST PALS? OR ARE YOU SCARED TO TALK TO STRANGERS? SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…

 

 

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