I’m in the train going to work. My bike is leaning by bike against the wall and I’m half seated on it reading some stuff in my phone. Suddenly, I feel somebody is calling me. It’s difficult to tell because the train is really noisy in this segment of the ride. I look around, and indeed there’s this bro seating in front of me who’s asking me to come over. It seems he needs help with directions, so I approach him. We look together at the map of the east bay that he’s holding, and I help him find the spot he’s looking for.
I go back to my bike thinking I’ll just resume my very important review to all the critical stuff that I need to review without which I absolutely wouldn’t be able to live, when I notice he starts talking to me again. The train is still pretty noisy, so even though I’m not far from him, I can barely hear him. My Enlgish grammar skills drop to a minimum in this situations, and so that my vocabulary when I’m indeed in such noisy environment (hence the problems I have with sound effects when watching action movies here, of which I understand almost none of the dialogs, although luckily for me it’s precisely in action movies where you less need to follow them anyways). However, from that 20 percent of information that I can distill, I deduce he’s asking me what’s my origin (here people don’t ask “where you are from”, but “where you are from originally”, as an opposed to where you were from before you were born I think, I’m not sure yet). I reply that I’m from Spain (“lets keep it simple, I don’t feel talking politics today”, I say to myself). To which he responds in a genuinely excited way. For celebrating, he decides to offer me a hand shacking ritual that is unknown to me. I fail at it of course, but he doesn’t seem to care, it seems I have made it into his area of trust regardless.
The prove for it is that before I can even move back to my bike, he asks me to take a picture for him. He says he looks fantastic today, and that he wants a picture. He hands me his phone, and poses for the picture, which I take. He looks at the picture when I’m done, smiles, and resumes talking. This time even faster but softer, which added on top of the noisy train, makes it even harder to follow what he’s saying. At some point he’s talking of Obamacare, and also mentions he has two jobs, and also something about his sister. I smile and nod, but don’t say a word, and try not to make a fool of me to the best of my abilities until we arrive to my station. As I cross the door out I wish him a good day, and then he smiles and wishes me good day back. Now that the train is quiet I can finally understand him, but it’s too late of course, I’m leaving the train without knowing exactly what the (unidirectional) conversation we had was about. What I know is that he needed to speak, that’s for sure!