An early start
That morning, I had breakfast with a stranger, not something that tends to happen often; maybe it happened because I was in the ‘friendlier north’ of the UK, where speaking to a stranger isn’t seen as being quite so weird.
“Sorry, I nearly sat in your seat” she said. We were both having a hot breakfast, I told her not to be silly, she could sit wherever she wanted, there was plenty of room for both us.
At around 8am the station was starting to get busy, a long queue of people lined up to buy the breakfasts they’d skipped on the way out of the front door – myself included. Announcements echoed through the station for various departures while anxious commuters grabbed their much needed coffee fix.
Now seated, she told me she’d survived cancer three times, and that she thanked God every morning for her life instead of stressing over little things that don’t really matter. “I’m all about positive attitude” she said “I might have bits of me missing but at least I haven’t got an arm or leg missing”.
I admired her spirit – for some, it’s not an easy one to accomplish.
She had a grateful heart and a cheerful outlook on life as she told me that she was on her way to take her mum on a seaside trip, and that she was very much looking forward to looking at the locally produced pottery in her chosen coastal town.
We joked about our healthy and unhealthy breakfast choices – concluding that a little bit of what you fancy is good for you.
A full English Breakfast
She told me her father was 93 years old “my mum has cooked him a full english breakfast every day since they’ve been together, and she didn’t stop when doctors warned him about his high cholesterol” her mother had protested to the doctor when he told her to give her husband healthier meals.
93 years old, a ripe old age, they must have been doing something right all this time.
Our contact with others is powerful
So that was another one of my conversations with a stranger that left an inspiring imprint on my mind and has stayed with me to this day – she may never know it though, to her it was probably just a quick chat with one in a million random strangers!
We’ll never know the impact and impression we make on other people, every day, but lets try and make sure it’s a positive one.
I’d love to hear about any inspiring strangers you’ve met just once, by chance – feel free to share your stories below.
42 thoughts on “Breakfast with a stranger”
K E Garland
I don’t have any specific stories to share, but I do love sparking up conversations with strangers. These discussions always give me goosebumps because it’s like a way to say, “I see you” and “we’re all connected.”
I agree. I think these paths crossing with strangers is more than coincidence, and the things that connect us are stronger than the things that divide us 🤗
Does this count? My Mum and I were walking through Bristol (we dont even live anywhere near Bristol), a guy dropped a can of beer whilst drunkenly cycling down the road and as she started chatting to him when he came off the bike, it transpired that they both came from the same town in Scotland and his brother was her childhood friend! How is that even possible?
This absolutely does count 😊👏and it’s just the sort of thing that makes conversations with strangers all the more interesting. Small world!!
#Strangers I met a lady in hospital, whilst I was having a operation, she told me she knew my family, and I spent hours taking to her, to discover not only did she know my family, but was actually related to my husband
Wow, that’s one of those scenarios that makes me think there is no such thing as coincidence!!! You were meant to cross paths with her 😊
#strangers Coming back from holiday, husband dropped hire car back and was ages. Sat outside in waiting area with people and started chatting to lovely young lad for about half an hour. Turns out he was waiting for his mates to arrive, they were going on a stag do, having hired a villa abroad in Mallorca where we’d been staying. Started showing me pictures on his phone of his friends and his job. Really passed the time so quickly. We were both wondering why husband had taken so long. Turns out he was supposed to fill the car up with petrol on way back and forgot because we gave a lift to a couple from the hotel. Luckily the hire place didn’t charge us extra as he was allowed to go and fill it up…
Ahh, at least you had a good chat and got to look at some nice photos while you waited!! 😊🚗
I met an 82-year-old lady at a scout booksale who told me all about her ex-lovers and what made them good or bad in bed! When she was young, her dad told her she’d get a name for herself. She said she’d get a name whatever she did so she may as well get one having sex!
😆 That’s hilarious – definitely not a shy granny!
Once I met a man on the train, he was about 80 and he was going to meet his brother for the first time . It was only recently that it was discovered that he had a sibling and from what he said he was given up for adoption at the hospital and noone knew about it .
Wow, that’s a unique scenario to get caught up in – I hope it went well for him, with a happy ending 😊
I used to do physiotherapy on the elderly wards so I had lots of chats with interesting strangers. One lady in particular always stayed positive and kept up her hobbies no matter how bad her arthritis and pain got. Now I still keep up my hobbies despite my back pain. She also knitted me a pink witch, who I treasure.
#stranger I frequently talk to strangers when I wait for the bus. The weirdest was a few months ago. A complete stranger walked up to me and said “those people over there need locking up” Weirdest thing was – a police car came and started to talk to them – it was freaky!!
She must have known something about them!!!!
I work as a nurse, so meet lots of interesting people . But the older generation tell the best stories. I love hearing about their lives and what they used to do. #strangers
I had a conversation with a plumber who was in the Masons and he talked about it in great depth and it was really interesting.
Sounds very interesting indeed! 😊
I sat next to a lady on the bus last month who commented about the fact that I wasn’t wearing any make up. We had a really interesting discussion about how we spend far too much time worrying about what others think of us, rather than just being happy being ourselves. #strangers
Nice – the less we care about what other people think, the more free we are!!
Niki Marie Wardle
I got talking to another mum at baby group here in Gateshead, turns out my cousin in Manchester is godmother to her little girl!
It’s such a small world – lovely 😉
When our daughters were little and we were living in a new city, I met all sorts of moms on playgrounds etc. I even printed up little cards with my name, the girls’ names and their ages. It led to a lot a fun play dates and a handful of lasting friendships!
That’s a great way to get lots of play dates!😊
I met a woman at a bus stop in Maryhill when I visited Glasgow and we had a very interesting conversation about living there and she made it sound very interesting and nice x
Lovely – it’s nice when people actually like where they live and want to tell you all about it 🏡
Borderline personalities are becoming to accepted, we have to learn from those individual’s who gain valuable knowledge from experience, inorder so we understand enough of what triggers personality suppression, then we Maybe able to create resolve and actually help struggling individual’s find solace within themselves, there true self and not some dulled down version of the person we once new.. 😊👍🙏💙
I think my interesting/inspiring conversation must be in the future as I can’t think of one that has already happened 😀
Awww, I’m sure you will in the future, and probably when you least expect it lol 😊
I always meet people at the bus stop. Its never really inspiring but its interesting to hear about other peoples lives and think, actually i should stop complaining because mine could be worse 🙂
We all need reminding of this from time to time, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own worlds and forget there are others much worse off 😉
Emily Hutchinson (@emilyh13)
I had a fascinating conversation with a taxi driver once who said he was Robbie Williams godfather. He said he was a ‘daft lad’.
Ha ha, that sounds like a very interesting conversation, hope he didn’t spill too many beans! 😊
This reminds me of a woman I met on a beach in Barbados, she was selling tea towels and claimed to be an aunt of Rihanna (the superstar) – she said some people might criticise Rihanna, but she simply saw an opportunity and she took it!!! I guess the moral of that one was – grab opportunities when they come your way….🌴🔆
It’s always fabulous to chat to strangers and share a brief moment hearing about someone else life. People are friendly like that the world over, doesn’t matter where you are. We’ve had wonderful conversations with strangers all over the world.
It seems happen more easily when you’re on holiday, especially somewhere hot and sunny (puts people in a good mood) – maybe it’s also because were more relaxed and inquisitive away from home! 😊
Im super lucky to do the job that I do (Paramedic) I get to meet strangers everyday and get a small insight into their lives and I get to have interesting conversations all the time. I get to hear about past decades, hopes, future, families etc Love my job and the strangers that I get to meet.
Apart from the rewards of doing what you do for people, the social aspect sounds very rewarding too 😊
A well written and meaningful post, thank you for reminding me about connecting with people, and of the power of gratitude. I enjoy talking with strangers at bus stops, shopping basically anywhere. I think we need authentic contact with each other more than ever in our tech distracted world. So many people, not talking to each other, is nuts.
Thank you Judy, you’re so right about needing ti contact each other more. These days people are more interested in their phones than people, or block the world out with a pair of headphones – more often than not 😞
You’re welcome Cherryl, I agree. Even the people we connect with on our phones is more superficial, text isn’t the same as actual talking. 😔
An old chap on a train once told me to always take and opportunity that came me way and then you wouldn’t have any regrets didn’t dare ask what his back story was but it felt like he was speaking from experience and it has stayed with me.
I love that – people with regrets have a lot of ‘learned the hard way’ wisdom. Question is – will you take his advice!! 😊