In life, there will always be those random encounters with strangers that leave an indelible impression. Maybe they sat down next to you at the bar when you were drowning your sorrows, or they gave you a compliment when you needed it the most, or they told you that you had a nice smile. The rest of the time it’s something amusing, embarrassing, dumb, or completely unexpected.
So, when one Reddit user asked, “What is the oddest conversation you’ve had with a random stranger? ” Hundreds of individuals immediately took to the comments sections to talk about their most interesting or unusual experiences. Below you’ll find the best of what these contributors have provided.
If there is one complete stranger you will never forget, who is it and why? Feel free to share your thoughts in the section below.
I was maybe 16 (a female) and hanging out with two male buddies at the mall. While I was wandering the food court aimlessly trying to decide what to eat, my companion had left me and bumped into me from behind. To my surprise, it wasn’t my buddies but a guy I’d never met who had just given me a baby. He took a step backward toward the lady, and the two of them burst out laughing. It seemed like she was snapping photos of me on her phone. They laughed and looked at me as if they wanted me to follow them, but they were speaking a language I didn’t understand. Here I am, cradling a baby I don’t recognize in the middle of the mall food court and I can’t bring myself to do anything. After what seemed like an eternity but was really just a minute or two, my pals went up to me, looking bewildered and asking why I had a kid. Before I could even speak a word, the guy and wife raced over, snatched the infant and departed. Even after almost eleven years, I have no idea what’s going on.
The patissier at the bakery in my hometown, USA, was gazing at me with a slack jaw in case I had said anything offensive. She identified herself as German and said that I looked just like her daughter down to the spectacles. She had been under the impression that her daughter was visiting her from Germany. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, and please tell her how sorry you are that she didn’t have a photo to use as a comparison.
When I was about 9 years old, an elderly guy offered me a $1 million bill in Busch Gardens in Virginia. In any case, I still have it.
My fourth experience with a “vietnam veteran” jacket was at the dollar shop near the Hollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon (about 20 miles from my home). Because I am a patriot and a m**********r, I let him know how much I valued his service. Then he remarked, “That’ll be $100,” implying a price. I assumed it was all a joke at first. No, he was not. I told him I did not have $100 since it was the truth. The man said, “Well, give me whatever you have.” The only money I had on me was the five cents I needed to make the purchase, so I handed it to him. Rather than thank me, he just walked away. It was quite strange.
5. When I was 30, I got into a swordfight at a Rite Aid with a little guy of maybe 11 or 12. When he glanced up from studying the plastic blades, I put mine out and nodded, saying, “Let’s go.” When we finally caught sight of one other, I was at the other end of the aisle, so we ran towards each other and exchanged massive swings. When the blades met, they splintered into a thousand fragments. By “exploded,” I mean that they really did so. He seemed to be in complete disbelief. When he began to shop about, I told him not to worry since I would foot the bill. I would estimate that each one cost about $3. His mother checked out without seeing him. He must be well into his 30s at this point. In a word, yes!
Upon arriving at a music festival in the Faroe Islands with my friends in 2005, a girl I had never seen before jumped around my neck, kissed me on the cheek, and wished me a happy birthday before running off into the night. When I checked my watch, it had exactly struck midnight, marking the beginning of my 21st year.
At #7, I’ll give you some context: I’m British, I’ve been clean for over four months, and I used to drink eight or ten beers in this beach shelter every night after work. A stranger with a bottle of wine approached me one evening and began a conversation. He claims that he often jogs by the shelter in the mornings to collect the empty beer cans and throw them away. Since he already knew my identity and where I’d gotten the drink, he practically coaxed me into admitting it was me. In the first, I was alarmed, but then I realized he was only cleaning up the receipts I’d been placing there with my name and the store’s location written on them because of my clubcard.
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However, he continued by asking me why I drank so much and if anything had occurred to me to cause me to behave in such a manner. I don’t know why, but I opened up to him about the painful events in my life that led to my alcoholism. After a short talk, he revealed that he was a police officer and not just any officer; he had arrested Roy Whiting, Sarah Payne’s murderer. What he told me will be with me forever. When he replied, “I have four kids, and you never know, you may be number five,” I was floored. Totally out of the blue, a total stranger struck up a conversation with me and offered me the kind of affection I’d never experienced before. Fast forward a year or so, and I’m sober, still in touch with him through Facebook, and always eager for a hug and catch-up whenever we cross paths. When he drives by, he constantly honks at me. I appreciate it.
It’s not that unusual, I suppose, but I’ve been thinking about it for over a decade.
Because of my job, I had recently relocated halfway across the nation. My great-grandmother died away there a few months before her 101st birthday. I returned to my home state on a flight that departed bright and early. The woman sitting next to me looked like she was on the cusp of retirement age.
I wasn’t sobbing; rather, I was simply being quiet and introspective, as is customary for someone who is away from home and dealing with emotional baggage. I put my head and arms on the tray I’d been given and stared at the city lights outside the window after we were allowed to put our trays down. A lady began caressing my back and assuring me that everything will be fine for the majority of the journey.
Normally, I dislike physical contact and seldom seek solace. The thing that happened was one of the most reassuring things that has ever occurred to me, and I simply let it. How oddly pure it is.
The third level of the hospital where I work is where I do my job. The sink in the coffee area is conveniently located next to a window, so I washed up there one night. It was becoming dark outside, and I happened to gaze out the window at the same moment as a lady across the street looked up at mine. I made the choice to wave, and as I did so, she returned the gesture by raising her hand. We laughed about it and continued on with our day. Though it only lasted a few seconds, the moment has stuck with me.
Some of them are memorable, but I have always been confused by this one.
On a lovely Saturday afternoon, I find myself at a bustling downtown junction. The guy next to me immediately begins making polite conversation. Intense verbal activity. It took a while for the light to turn green for reasons I can’t quite place. We had a brief conversation, then.
He inquired peculiarly about my racial background (somewhat accurate). Then, out of the blue, he started telling me about his life.
Maybe he just has a lot of energy right now. Being new to the city from the country, I didn’t want to offend anybody, so I refrained from pushing him away. I’m not sure whether I should have done it. His life tale, which included travel throughout the world and a few other odd facts, was only somewhat noteworthy.
After we parted ways across the street, I didn’t give it another consideration.
A few months later, I find myself at a city shopping center. The same random man approaches me and initiates a conversation. I cut him off and replied, “Yeah, I remember meeting you previously,” and then I went into the same rambling life tale that he had. That’s when he pulls a vanishing act.
To this day, I still don’t understand what the deal was there. Odd, to say the least.
I rode the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster alone since no one in my family wanted to attend, and I ended up sitting next to a foreigner who didn’t understand a word I was saying. Since I was prepared to have my photo taken as the trip began, I slapped on a silly grin (rock fist, tongue out). My riding companion and I looked at our picture at the conclusion of the trip and saw that, unbeknownst to each other, we had made the same identical expression and motion. When we saw it, we had a hearty chuckle. He hugged me and murmured something to me that I didn’t catch, and then he left. Even after all these years, I can’t help but reflect about my time with him.
One night, while out in Boston with some pals, I broke out into a rendition of “show me the way to go home” For nearly a block and a half, a girl on the other side of the street sung every other lyric with me. Towards the end, we were really rowdy.
While I was studying in the university library, the man next to me turned his head and gave me an awkwardly lengthy stare. While I was looking away, he extended his arm and offered me some cheetos. When I decline his offer of companionship gently, he stops trying to engage me in conversation and we both return to our studies.
A few months later, I’m taking an overnight bus from a state three hours away back to the one in which I was born. Except for maybe a dozen other people spread out over the bus, it’s rather deserted. The man in front of me suddenly gets to his knees on the seat and turns around to face me while I go about my business. There’s the same man from the library again. Exactly what is he doing, then? Lend me a hand and give me some Cheetos, he said.
On the bus, an attractive middle-aged lady sat next to me and said, “My teeth are trying to kill me.” Silently endured the rest of the car trip.