The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Big Sister

The morning bus is packed, and I am standing in the baby-carriage corral near the front. There aren’t many parents rolling their babies on board at this hour, so it has … Continue reading

November 4, 2015 · 9 Comments

The Wave

The family of three heads for seats in the tram. The mother has a toy for her toddler, who refuses to remain in one place. The father tries to wrangle … Continue reading

August 28, 2015 · 4 Comments

Layla La La La

There are only four of us in the bus. The driver and I smile as I show him my pass, and I take a seat on the left side and … Continue reading

February 9, 2015 · 5 Comments

Traffic Dynamics

I like to imagine the shuttle bus from the airport to Taksim Square is a tour bus for my band. Of course, I’m in this band with about 40 people … Continue reading

November 10, 2014 · 10 Comments

Tram 6: Another Abbreviated Love Story

They see each other while she is a passenger and he waits at the stop. As the tram slows and the doors opens, they both lift their chins just a … Continue reading

September 29, 2014 · 8 Comments

Vitamin Quiet

I’ve got the same driver on my way back to Croatia. We catch the other’s glance in the mirror above his seat. He rolls his eyes at the pack of … Continue reading

October 18, 2013 · 10 Comments

Split Scenes

The teenage girl wears a tshirt that reads: “Love My Smile,” but she isn’t smiling. She stands next to an ad for shoes where none of the models are smiling. … Continue reading

September 27, 2013 · 2 Comments

When All The German Fell Out Of My Head

In every tunnel, because the darkness turns the windows into mirrors, people in the train gaze at their own reflection. They pose, pat their hair, examine their own eyes. As … Continue reading

July 29, 2013 · 18 Comments

Mr. Independent

A little boy in a blue t-shirt acts tough, strong, fearless. He clutches a toy truck low at his side and eyes the passengers on the train. His father sees … Continue reading

May 17, 2013 · 12 Comments

The Biblio-Commuter

The man’s briefcase lies across his legs like a desk and he rests his elbows on it. The U-Bahn stops, but he does not. He inhales, sits up straight, leans … Continue reading

April 17, 2013 · 11 Comments

Overhead

Still not moving–thirty minutes after the departure time. Passengers check the clocks on their cell phones, sigh, slap their legs, make utterances in their native tongues. When the bus to … Continue reading

July 27, 2012 · 2 Comments

Novi Sad, Part I

Most of the girls in town have long, straight-cut bangs that make a horizon over their eyebrows. Most of the girls hold cigarettes in their unsmiling mouths. They pout like … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · 3 Comments

Good Health. You’re Welcome.

Life can be hard for non-smokers who don’t have the tasks and belongings of smokers to keep their hands busy. Instead must find ways to deal with our hands, to … Continue reading

June 8, 2012 · 3 Comments

Take Care

The bus trip from Vienna to Trogir, Croatia takes twelve hours and rolls overnight.  As the monster idles–half the passengers taking final drags on cigarettes and patting at their relatives–a … Continue reading

April 13, 2012 · 7 Comments

Mensch!

On the long day before a set of flights home to Colorado, I helped with a Halloween party in a private Austrian school. My favorite child, Phillip, with a perpetual … Continue reading

March 26, 2012 · 1 Comment

Next Stop

As usual, stops were not announced on the train. People familiar with the route rushed the hallways as we pulled into a station–or the last scraps of one. The train … Continue reading

March 21, 2012 · 9 Comments

Nice to Meet You

His mother always started up a conversation with the other people on the train. She was like an old bird dog just unpenned that raced, sniffing up every rock and … Continue reading

February 22, 2012 · Leave a comment

Pick Me Up

The Taksim bus station, night and day, hosts chaos. Buses line up and depart from four doubled-up lines and feature the soundtrack of air brakes and honking horns. Pedestrians, as … Continue reading

February 20, 2012 · 1 Comment

Bitte Schön

Greetings from Overcast Istanbul! I’m here collecting new scraps of stories and taking a little time to reset and reassess. This week I’m reblogging three posts from the early days … Continue reading

February 13, 2012 · 1 Comment

The Bold and the Apprehensive

The couple boarded the plane extremely late and toting five carry-on bags between them. The flight crew looked the other way. He opened nearly every overhead compartment in their section … Continue reading

February 1, 2012 · 17 Comments

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