I was out for a walk early on this beautiful Saturday in Honolulu. Instead of walking to the right and heading into the centre of Waikiki, I chose to go left this morning toward Diamond Head.
Thoughts drifted to what I could for my “doing it different” after I had had a cheery conversation with a gentleman on the beach. We had both stopped took out our phones and snapped some photos and I commented on what did we do before we had phones and publishing devices in our pockets. It struck me that talking to strangers can be an exhilarating, connecting, and unique experience, so, of course, I decided that this made for a perfect DID for today.
Immediately turned to Facebook and posted this.
The goal for today was set – I was to talk to at least 8 strangers and document my interactions.
So, here they are:
- The gentleman on the beach who whom I discussed mobile phones and our reliance on them
- An older outdoorsy looking couple who were standing on the pier looking down and remarking on the fish that swam around there giving us all a show.
- The gentleman sitting on the park bench who caught my eye when my face registered that it was two small dogs and not a baby being pushed around in a pram/stroller – we went on to discuss dog owner types, the needs of dogs, and that he had also seen a dog in a clear plastic box earlier that day being carried around like a handbag
- The young and very well attired Asian couple who did not speak English but we communicated – I pointed out the various little black crabs that were crawling around at their feet, but because of their colouring were almost indistinguishable.
- The woman in the ABC store about returning or exchanging Chris’ shirt for another size, then about the parade, then about the floaty toys and inflating them, and then again when I actually brought back Chris’ shirt to exchange.
- The older man who was out for an early morning scoot, who as he approached said, “I’m passing by you.” I joked with him saying, “Not if I speed up you’re not.” He laughed and waved back at me.
- The big black guy with the warm smile who said, “Hellllllooo” with a big grin, only after visibility moving his head from my head to my feet then back again, so yes, Chris “He checked me out!”
- The Asian couple who’s photo I offered to take when they were struggling with the couple-selfie. They asked if I was a professional photographer because I asked them to move a bit to ensure their faces were lit, move their visors up a bit so that the camera could actually see their faces, and taking some time to frame the shot.
- I met an exuberant and friendly-as-anything golden lab named Mya and her mom, when her mom noticed me looking a tad longingly at her, as I was thinking of Buzz and missing him a little. We talked dog love and I gave Mya all kinds of pats and cuddles and we were both better off for it.
- A young couple in the park with whom I exchanged pleasantries after stopping to take a photo of Diamond Head. If it was possible, they were even more exuberant than Mya!
- Then I happened upon young Jayden who was running around the duck pond and had obviously been around them for a while for he knew a lot about them. He knew that there were new ducks here, that a mother duck had recently given birth and was now swimming with her offspring – he took me to see them. We talked about where his father was – nearby, but certainly not within watching distance. This led to talks of stranger danger and you couldn’t argue with his reasoning. I seemed like a nice stranger – I had a good smile. After warning that some strangers can seem nice, but not be, I chuckled at his reply – that’s okay, I’m fast, nobody’s gonna catch me. He told me his name. I told him mine. Then he called my Auntie Linda. And yes, this whole conversation and connection was only minutes in the making. He was adorable and lively and gregarious and open – everything a young boy should be.
- Then there was Nora the bird lady – who introduced me to her birds, offered to take pictures, placing these birds expertly on my arms and grabbing my phone to take photos – I thought this was pretty cool, well, until she said, that will be $10. I was stunned – this was the first mention of any charge, she had no signs, no mention that this was a transaction rather than an interaction. I was taken quite aback. I felt duped and taken advantage of. I started to pay, arguing with myself all the while. I handed over a $20 bill and she said is it okay if I give you change in $1 notes. I said sure. She counted them out, gave them to me and then said, wait you never gave me the $20. I defended and said I most certainly did. Took a look in my bag and couldn’t see the note, so we went back and forth until we agreed that I wasn’t giving her any more money.
- The couple standing beside me watching the parade, which was understated in its festivities. We joked that Red Ford Mustangs were definitely not meant to drive that slow, that this wasn’t the sort of parade either of us had recently seen but we all honoured the effort and the celebrating.
So, just like my Fitbit step goal today, I crushed my DID assignment early in the day
I have had actual interactions with 17 adults, 1 young boy and 1 cute dog.
Here are a few photos of those who were part of my DID today.
And I’m sure this number will continue to rise.
This was a great DID for me today as I was on my own today and after all of these interactions, it didn’t feel it!