I was taking a train from Rye NY where I was staying with my sister, into the city to meet a gentleman for a first date, when the funniest thing happened. The person sitting across from me on Metro North looked interesting to me. I had absolutely no reason to talk to him, but I knew I should (strange feeling but it was undeniable, I needed to speak to this person!) I am so socially awkward and nervous around new people that I usually say nothing and regret it later. Once I know someone thought, it is hard to shut me up! :)
A couple got on the train and sat down, one beside him and the other beside me. The very tall burly man that sat across from me, his feet taking up the whole aisle had his zipper down, to which the train conductor tried to be a gentleman and discreetly tell him. He kept telling the man to come over to him politely and the man refused to stand up. His wife, who spoke broken English asked the conductor what was wrong, and stated that they had tickets and did not do anything wrong. The conductor, realizing this was going nowhere, wrote on a small piece of paper..."his zipper is undone." The woman read it and started laughing and signed to the man to check his zipper. The whole issue arose because the man was deaf and simply did not understand what this conductor was saying! I finally had an in to speak to this person...something hilarious and awkward had just happened and we both witnessed it!
The lady started speaking to him, telling him sorry for disrupting him on his commute, and he spoke back and...oh my god, FRENCH ACCENT! I am seriously obsessed with France! I love it there and at the same time this happened I was (and still am) studying the French language. The lady noticed his accent and asked him if he is from France to which he replied, "No I am from Japan." French and funny!
The lady also spoke French and started to ask him questions, 'what is his name, is he was with me'... She said she saw a connection there. Maybe she saw me smile to myself when I heard his voice, who knows!
From this situation, a budding friendship occurred. With support through text messages from my best friend Missy, I decided to randomly give this French man my number and see what happens. What a great idea! Months later I was on an impromptu trip to Paris and had free lodging and someone to show me around town with an inside scoop! Not to mention, I was able to practice my French around him.
The Live Listen and Learn lesson could stop right here...
A little bit of eavesdropping (respectfully) went a long way in this situation, as I was able to meet a new friend and meeting this new friend took me on spontaneous adventures, how great is that?!
But there is more! One day my new friend was over and I was washing dishes. I was wiping down my cutting board when he said "Ugh, you Americans! So wasteful!" I know this statement to be true, but I was sort of surprised someone was calling me wasteful. Instead of getting defensive right away, I asked him what he meant. It was at this point that Louis taught me the correct way to wash dishes. The non-wasteful way.
Here are the steps:
1. Wet your sponge or dishcloth.
2. Soap up all dishes without water running. *I use the following brands of dish soap usually. I recommend using a natural dish soap, they are highly concentrated, and better for the environment!
3. Rinse of all dishes with hot water and put on rack.
I even make sure that in between each dish I rinse off that I turn off the water while I place the dish on the drying rack.
This is so simple and it made me realize how counterproductive my old method was! I was soaping the dishes while rinsing at the same time and wasting water and also soap! Not to mention, it took much longer to get the dishes cleaned because I was simply doing it the wrong way!