Clearly, my head has not quite returned to the city from my one day out in the country. As I was sitting in my cubicle yesterday, all I could think about was dogs and cattle and dust.
Yesterday on my Facebook, there was a lively discussion about cowboy manners. It got me to thinking about groups of people and society as a whole. I love studying people. I consider myself a casual observer of mankind.
I have all kinds of friends who come from different places and circumstances. I believe having friends from all walks of life is like adding colorful spice to plain, old white rice.
The thing is, I have learned some really profound things from people when I take the time to listen. I've found a real kinship with folks who ride the public transit here in Tri-Cities. I was talking with some folks the other day who live in Benton City, which is 10 miles beyond where I live. They both own vehicles but like me, find it relaxing to ride the bus. One guy is a motorcycle rider and the woman I talked to had lived in Portland for a long time, where riding public transportation is chez chic. There is an unwritten rule that you don't ask too many questions of people while riding the bus. It's just not the place to do that sort of thing. You might be sharing a seat but there is a limit to the amount of information shared.
Last year while waiting to catch a bus to the fair, I was talking with a guy and his wife about traveling. They were both retired and were doing a lot of traveling. So, I asked the question that I always love to ask .... "where is your favorite country to travel"? The guy told me someplace in Asia ... I don't remember the details. What I do remember is that his eyes lit up when he started talking about it and I got a moment of humanity sitting on the bus talking with a total stranger about something he loves. He went on to tell me that he travels with only a large carry-on. He said he takes an extra pair of khaki pants and shirt, underwear, etc. and washes his clothes in the sink wherever he stays. I totally understood the freedom in traveling lite and experiencing a trip like that. It becomes a game to see how little we can do without.
So my next question of this traveling, retired guy and his wife was, "where is your favorite place to eat in the Tri-Cities?" In my heart, I knew they were one of my kind when they said in unison, "Fiesta Foods" in Pasco. Gene and I have eaten there a couple of times when we've been over on that side of town. Fiesta Foods is a grocery store frequented mostly by Mexicans that also serves Mexican food in carton containers with little benches and tables to sit at. Totally unpretentious but the most authentic Mexican food in the area. There is a Fiesta Foods store in Hermiston, Oregon and last fall we took a motorcycle ride out there and had dinner. When we were finished eating, a lovely Mexican lady sitting next to us told us we must really try the ice cream. The ice cream at Fiesta Foods is out of this world and the best kept secret. I don't know where their ice cream comes from but they have a variety of really different flavors and it is so creamy I can't even describe it. If you go, try the coffee flavored leche helada.
All this talk about food is making me hungry. I've already missed the bus this morning but have time for a little oatmeal.
I hope wherever you are that you find the most interesting people to talk to and more importantly ... to listen to.