Friday, January 01, 2010


I am in AMERICA (cue spaghetti western music and flag waving), where random strangers strike up conversations all the time, and where eye contact and small talk don't necessarily mean flirting or insanity. I think.

At Fresh Pot: I'm at the condiment station sugaring up my small double latte.
My age-ish guy holding a cup of regular coffee: "That looks really good. Better than this."
Me: (thinking, what does he WANT?) "Um, yeah. It had a beautiful fern leaf, but I stirred it."
Him: "Really? Beautiful fern leaf, huh? Wow, that's cool."
Me: "Uh, yeah." (Give him a confused but friendly smile and back away to find a table.)

At a donut making party hosted by my friend, where I know exactly one person.
Standing by the garbage bin, I'm bent over scraping dough off my hands. A girl comes over and deposits something.
Me: "Wow, the embroidery on your sweater is so beautiful!"
Her: "Thanks! My friend did it..."
Me: "You know, standing here like this, I was at exact eye level with your boobs and it just jumped out at me."
Her: (Gives me a strained smile and walks away.)

In line on New Year's Eve to get into a discotheque on the East side. My friend and I are decked out in some over the top spangled baby blue dresses.
Woman behind us in line: "Wow, you guys are wearing ball gowns!"
Me: "Yeah, we're going to a powder blue party after this."
Woman: "You look great! People in Portland wear too much fleece and clogs."
(Conversation ensues about flannel, polar fleece, and fashion.)
A girl that I recognize from the donut party (not embroidered boobs) comes out of the club. I smile at her and give a little wave.
Donut Girl: "Hey, do you want to get in for free?"
Me: "Well, sure!"
DG: "I have a plus one, I'll tell the door guy. What's your name?"
Me: "Selena."
DG: "I'm Kate. I'll tell him."
Me: "Thanks!
Woman behind us: "Hmph! I wish *I* could get in FREE and be on the LIST without a NAME."
I feel her eyes boring into the back of my sequins. Just when I was getting better at the small talk thing. So much for our burgeoning friendship.

I just know that I am going to get really good at this again, the art of chatting up people on the corner, just in time to go back to Japan. I can imagine the scenario. I walk up to some dude at Doutor:
"Nice hair. Do you use Mod's wax?"
Him: (Scrabbles away from me in a panic, spilling his royal milk tea on his handbag. And has a story for years to come about the crazy lady who accosted him in the coffee shop back in 2010, and how he was lucky to escape unscathed.)


  1. I really like this post. I love the ending - so true!! Haha. This is going to make me smile all day.

  2. Thanks Poppy! I can't wait to try out this tactic!

  3. Happy New Yearrrr!
    Funny because the constant chatter is one of my European holiday topics. Expect to read about it around June. :-)
    (killed my computer BTW so I haven't been reading blogs lately, hence lack of comments. Just in case you thought I was being rude.)

  4. Happy new year to you! I'll be sure to check out you winter vacation come summer. Or maybe just get you to tell me about it over tea. Killed your computer? Oh no!

  5. ahahahaa oh selena
    i laughed so hard at this

    i just came home too and i am beyond blown away by many of the random things experienced. especially the ability to speak english and use sarcasm. ahaha.

  6. Thanks Sarah~ I'm waiting eagerly to read about your random things. Please post soon!