strangers on a train

People on MAX can be overheard telling their life stories to recent aquaintances more often than one might expect. Tonight it was a man from Bolivia who happened to be a 3rd generation Mormon with a master’s degree from BYU, visiting Portland for a Green Building conference (he lives in Phoenix). For a while I thought he was working up to a sales pitch of some sort.

Sometimes it’s the people talking on the phone who tell you more than you expect to hear. I sat near an IT worker with a British accent a few weeks ago, who was telling the person on the other side of the conversation about his inability to communicate well with his bosses (after a while he concluded that perhaps he should be “more gentle” with them). The discussion became much more entertaining when I started imagining that the other person worked for a phone psychic hotline (but it was probably just a collegue).

And then of course you have the guys who are trying to pick up the girl sitting next to them. My favorite is the college student who talked about how he learned the real meaning of ‘cowboy up’ from growing up outside Pendleton (home of the Pendleton Round-Up). Apparently it has something to do with surviving injuries incurred while driving your truck off-road… well, that’s little like being thrown off a horse.

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