The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Why My Nieces Get Books for Christmas (And My Eerie Paul Street Boys Coincidence)

The influence of early books is profound. So much of the future lies on the shelves… -Graham Greene. A Sort of Life. On my last trip to Europe, one of … Continue reading

November 25, 2013 · 17 Comments


At the border crossing from Croatia into Bosnia, my bus pulls to a stop next to a bus parked and pointed in the opposite direction. There’s an elderly couple in … Continue reading

November 6, 2013 · 10 Comments

Groove, Death, Italians

“Groove is in the Heart” is on the radio and the Italian tourists are certain that we’re all going to die. For me, the pace and aggressive passing of Croatian … Continue reading

September 25, 2013 · 7 Comments

On the Path, Nonetheless.

Writing is the only activity which makes me feel “only I could produce this.” Whether or not “this” is of any use is of course the crucial question to which … Continue reading

March 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

Saturday-Ja-Vu: How To Kill Time

Some days feel more land-locked than others. I was reminded of Croatian bus drivers and border crossings today, though I haven’t spotted either one. And children and adults staying entertained … Continue reading

October 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

Happiness. Snacks.

One of the secrets of the happy life is continuous small treats, and if some of these can be inexpensive and quickly procured so much the better. -Iris Murdoch. The … Continue reading

July 20, 2012 · 1 Comment

Double Date

The couple ducks into the restaurant–the doorways give them plenty of clearance, but they bow anyway. The host shows them to a table and the woman takes the chair facing … Continue reading

May 7, 2012 · 9 Comments

The Meek Tourist

My landlord got his boat engine going and ran it, revved it, for a nice long time. This sound, and my rumbling stomach, pushed back against my travel anxiety and … Continue reading

May 4, 2012 · Leave a comment

To Pass the Time

Among the many reasons I like Croatian bus drivers is that they will carry on conversations with you knowing full well you don’t speak the language.  A test of your … Continue reading

April 27, 2012 · 7 Comments

Remember Me

The covered cabin of the small boat to Split is full by the time I arrive. So I stand with six others on the back platform, holding onto the railing. … Continue reading

April 2, 2012 · 4 Comments

Volim, Ne Volim

It was a Sunday afternoon, not long after my arrival, and my pathetic-looking protein bar didn’t seem a nice option for a celebratory relocation meal. So despite the rain that … Continue reading

February 10, 2012 · 9 Comments

Clever Boating Term and a Link to the Lemon Tree

The sunset was a dusty purple and blue–like eye shadow colors that women only wore in magazines. I had been collecting the sunsets in amazement at their variety, and to … Continue reading

February 8, 2012 · 4 Comments

Cross Over

Maybe it was the impact of the sky and the water, but even the narrow road had its charm. Driving the curves, or walking on the crumbling shoulder that grew … Continue reading

February 6, 2012 · 1 Comment

Shoulder to Shoulder

On the winding road down the Croatian coast, a couple gazes toward the turquoise sea one usually only glimpses in movies. She sighs, ”We’re driving in the clouds.” But he … Continue reading

January 30, 2012 · 5 Comments

Business Man or Poor Man

Two Australian girls reacted with alarm that their protein bars hadn’t melted in the heat. Outside the Dubrovnik airport, waiting on a bus to the city center, the girls stared … Continue reading

January 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

Carry On

Several members of the Hajduk Split soccer team coalesced outside the airplane. Since the players were spry, many were the first out. They wore matching tracksuits. A few punched at … Continue reading

November 21, 2011 · 3 Comments

To Health

In a café on the Dalmatian coast, a middle-aged waitress leans on the bar and takes coffee and unceasing cigarettes for breakfast. The music on the radio is lively so … Continue reading

November 4, 2011 · 9 Comments

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