The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Little Miss Dutiful

The middle child adores her baby brother. She kisses him and holds his tiny hand while waiting to board. She’s a proud Kindergartener, offering to carry packages down the jetway … Continue reading

October 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

I Spy

A couple and their toddler toddle through the hip Vienna neighborhood. As they come into an area with shops, cafes, and restaurants, the father lifts the tiny girl up onto … Continue reading

August 5, 2015 · 6 Comments

Livin’ on a Prayer

He doesn’t speak English, but he speaks Bon Jovi. He wears a black button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a necklace with some sort of animal tooth or … Continue reading

February 27, 2015 · 10 Comments

Shoeless Wonder

In the park, I sit with a friend on a blanket. We have taken off our shoes, made ourselves comfortable, catching up on what we’ve done while we were apart. … Continue reading

August 25, 2014 · 7 Comments

The 400th Post: Something So Perfect.

The fact that I am publishing the 400th blog post is totally amazing to me. This all started as a way to sort through notes from my travels. Since then, … Continue reading

April 25, 2014 · 23 Comments

The City of Strangers

He had this voice so deep it rumbled along the back beams of the bench we were sharing. I arrived very early for an appointment and thought I should sit … Continue reading

April 16, 2014 · 12 Comments

En Garde

Runaways from a political rally, two helium balloons clap together. They are entangled above an intersection, caught in a wire on the side of an apartment. A man in a … Continue reading

March 10, 2014 · 12 Comments

Nervous Vienna Notes.

Well, I confess: I’m working on a longer something-or-other that may-or-may-not be book-shaped, and it’s been taking a lot of my energy. I found this week I wasn’t really watching … Continue reading

December 20, 2013 · 16 Comments

Places I’ve Gone on Account of a Book

I read a book one day and my whole life was changed…Where were the kindred spirits with whom I could talk? Where was the country in which I’d find the … Continue reading

October 11, 2013 · 12 Comments

And Are You Happy (As You Wait)?

Sometimes your heart’s desire hung from the highest branch of the highest tree and you could never climb high enough to reach it. Or else you just waited patiently and … Continue reading

September 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

Carried on the Wind

They wait at the crosswalk outside of the Echt Günstig, a pair of twenty-something women in t-shirts and skinny jeans. The woman with the very dark, very curly hair watches … Continue reading

August 30, 2013 · 2 Comments

Sundance Kid

The shaggy-haired boy has stopped his bicycle to watch a man on a machine unearthing blocks of cement. The boy plays with the strings from the hood of his sweatshirt. … Continue reading

July 24, 2013 · 9 Comments

Citation

She was widely read enough to appreciate my literary wit but not so widely read that she knew my sources. I like that in a woman. I could say things … Continue reading

April 26, 2013 · 3 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

Men

It is a Turkish barber shop in Vienna. A lean, dark-eyed man smokes a cigarette, even as the barber lathers his face for a shave. The barber works around the … Continue reading

April 3, 2013 · 8 Comments

But You Can Drive Something Foreign…

For the very notion of homeland, with all its emotional power, is bound up with the relative brevity of our life, which allows us too little time to become attached … Continue reading

April 1, 2013 · 4 Comments

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

Two boys in shoes unsuited for the crisp day stand seemingly unaccompanied in the Vienna U-Bahn. There are several potential mother-types seated nearby, perhaps taking a break from supervision while … Continue reading

March 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

Fishing With the Straßenbahn-Netz

A man sweeps the sidewalk in front of the hotel, casting gravel into a diminishing snowbank just past the curb. He wears a purple sweater over a white shirt, navy … Continue reading

March 4, 2013 · 5 Comments

Agency

I dare to unearth the Turkey travel guide in their presence. Yes, it is in English and the four old Turkish men are all trying to communicate with me in … Continue reading

February 4, 2013 · 5 Comments

My Carrot-Towel Confusion

He’s among a dozen men with stands to sell fruits and vegetables on the Naschmarkt. We’ve became pals because one day I tried to ask for carrots in Turkish and … Continue reading

January 30, 2013 · 12 Comments

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