I flew into San Francisco this week. I had one short meeting and then had the rest of the day to explore. I’m actually staying in Berkeley. I’ve never been to Berkeley so it’s a fun experience. Famished after a day of traveling I decided to try the local brewery, Pyramid Ale House.
I had planned to just get food but ended up with a beer as well. I ordered their grilled cheese sandwich. It’s by far THE best grilled cheese I have ever had. Brie, bacon jam, havarti, and pears. I washed it all down by a recommendation of a Pale Ale Nitro. It’s brewed with nitrogen which makes it super smooth and almost creamy.
My waitress was a super friendly goth girl; tattooed sleeves, severely cut bangs, lots of black eyeliner, and black fingernails. We struck up a conversation and when she got off of work she sat down with me and had a beer. From the exterior you would think we had absolutely nothing in common. We shared stories of travel and passions. She use to sing opera and is trying to retrain her voice so she can do music theatre again. She ended up giving me her phone number and offered to show me the city. Inviting me to a death metal concert (which I wasn’t sure I was up for) and thrift store shopping and a show at the local theatre.
After she left I struck up a conversation with a guy sitting nearby. Our conversation started about my grilled cheese sandwich. Turns how he is the brewer and the bartender at the Ale House. We talked about him growing up in San Francisco and the jobs he’s had. He invited me back to do a sample tasting later in the week.
My entire week has been like this. Just letting people talk, meeting people. People are not their exterior. They are not whatever title we may know them as. One of the office guys I have worked with for some time now started talking about how he was signed to a major record label when he was 21. After much deliberation he backed out because he felt like he was losing control over his own life.
Everyone has a story. We are all connected. I have met strangers on planes and in other countries that we discover we’re connected to them by someone else after some conversation. If we take the time to put aside our external differences, we all have a lot in common. I will make an effort to spend more time talking to strangers.