Bao Guy

Sorry, I had to work late.

Anyway, so we’ve been working hard on this big deal and I went over to the mall to grab lunch to go. I got a salad at Take a Bao and I got their plumberry iced tea. It’s really good.

I’m waiting for my salad but I’ve already got my tea and I’m thinking, “This guy doesn’t look busy. I should strike up a conversation with him.” Of course the key is to be casual, not too interested like I’m a psycho or trying to pick him up.

So I’m racking my brain trying to figure out how to break the ice when it hits me. It’s sitting right there in my hand.

“This tea is really good. But what’s a plumberry?”

Turns out, they get that question all the time and the answer is really uninteresting (it’s tea with a blend of plums and berries).

But I didn’t let that stop me. I mentioned that I took the last sweet & low packet and they need to refill it. Which suddenly jogged this memory in the back of my brain, and I don’t remember how I segued here, but all of the sudden I launched into this story about this dumb-ass girl from back when I was a paralegal in New York.

We’d go to lunch and she’d put like literally six packets of sugar in her tea. Of course, it would just sit on the bottom because of basic chemistry: Sugar doesn’t dissolve in cold water. I tried to explain it to her, that they make sweet tea by heating up the tea first, dissolving the sugar, and then cooling it. The supersaturated sugar stays in solution and the iced tea stays sweet. It’s straight out of high school chemistry. But she would just say she likes it that way and dump a pound of sugar into the already-cold iced tea. You could literally see it sitting there on the bottom taking up an inch of the glass.

So the Bao Guy thought that was a funny story. I found out he was an actor. We didn’t trade info or anything. I didn’t even get his name. My salad came out and that basically put an end to the conversation. I took the bag and all I said was, “Have a good day.”

Still, on the walk back to Constellation, I felt awesome. I felt like a people person. Are me and Bao Guy gonna be BFF’s? Not too likely. But that’s not the point. I talked to a stranger. I made a connection. And for such a small fucking thing, for the rest of the day I had a huge smile on my face.

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2 Responses to Bao Guy

  1. Aria says:

    I hate that in today’s world you actually have to be careful not to come off as a pedophile. Sadly, if you are a male, 99 out of 100 times a woman thinks you are hitting on them, even if you clearly aren’t. You could just be staring into space and they think that you’re looking at them in “that way.” I swear people need to chill out and have some hope for society that there aren’t only creeps in the world. I wish more people would strike up random conversations with each other. It sure beats pretending to text when you feel awkward (especially because I hate texting in general). I usually feel awkward around people because I want to be friendly, but then again, what do you say? I admire your bravery.

  2. Tam Frager says:

    That’s a great illustration of talking to a stranger. I just found this blog (finding POVs for a presentation I’m giving about talking to strangers), and it’s great. Just what I was looking for! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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