October 8, 2011

We Can't Help it, We're Friendly Folks

During my post-Blue Angels journey back to the East Bay, by way of foot, Muni and BART, I've had some very interesting conversations with strangers. Clearly, I'm becoming more like my mom, who can make friends in two minutes. It is all about being open and having a good attitude.

First, there was the bus driver who was driving our grossly over-crowded bus up Van Ness. He was very stern and kept saying, "get back beyond the yellow line! I can't see and that means I can't go!" I was the last one on the bus and said, very sweetly, "maybe I should get off." To which he responded, "not you sweetheart. You're fine." At every stop he yelled at the new passengers but I kept my spot next to him and we continued to chit-chat about music, wooing your lady, and watching the Blue Angels.

A stop before I got off the bus a woman got on and the driver gave his same speech about moving back. She told him to f**k himself. The driver opened the doors and said, "you can leave." She got off the bus and kept yelling at him, saying he was rude. The driver had a good laugh over that. She just didn't understand him. I got it, he was performing his job, he was keeping us safe.

Later, I was waiting for BART and a woman sat down next to me and said how much she liked me shoes. We got into a conversation about shoes, shopping, her back surgery. All kinds of details.

Now, sitting on BART, this same woman is chatting it up with other passengers. There is a cute guy in his 20s and she told him he's good looking. All of us, seated in the surrounding five rows, had a good laugh. Poor guy blushed. It was all in good humor.

Last weekend I was at my cousin Ben's house for a brunch gathering. One of the guests, who recently relocated to Oakland from NYC, was telling me how people are suspiciously friendly here and that it made him very nervous. "What is it with people here?" He asked me, "Everyone is so nice."

We can't help it. We're friendly folks.