A stranger passes by


“It’s a short journey, be comfortable,” he says with a friendly smile.

I adjust the seat belt and notice him from the backseat. He is wearing tall boot socks and a pair of shorts. His vintage aviator is clean from a good maintenance.

“Can you suggest a shorter route?” he asks again with a smile.

I tell him the two usual routes I take, and then ask him which navigation application he normally uses.

“Waze. For old eyes, definitely better than Google Maps,” he smartly responds.

Next five minutes, while zigzagging through morning traffic, we talk about changing pattern of navigation technology, and then changing pattern of technology crowd in Silicon Valley.

Our thoughts find harmony.

For fifty five years he has been watching Silicon Valley closely. He was born here and could not think of living anywhere else.  “What did you like the best about this area when you first moved?” He wants to know.  “Fresh apricots. And a tree full of persimmons in the autumn. That’s a beautiful sight,” I answer. “You are different. I hardly get this kind of answer,” his laughter hides all other noises of our busy city.

We talk more. I notice it takes only ten minutes to exchange opinions on so many myopic observations- new roads, taller buildings, merging companies, simpler applications, social media addiction vs. face to face conversation.

My destination arrives soon. I thank him, “I had a good ride.”

“I spent thirty five years in various organizations that built GPS those days. After retirement, it was impossible to stay home.  I drive cab now to meet young minds of Silicon Valley. Not a full time job, but serves my purpose. One can learn many things from strangers here. I love knowing new ideas and passionate people working on them. It was lovely meeting you today. Take care of your health.” He drives away the Uber cab.

Standing there, I learn something. I note down his story. I think, I want to remind myself of his idea of living when I grow old. The urge to meet new people and to know new ideas- well, is there a better way of living the golden years of our life?

Author: Archita

Musings about life and photography.

12 thoughts on “A stranger passes by”

  1. I find such gems these days during travel- research scholars, wannabe techie scuba divers, part-time scholars and part-time drivers- each story is interesting and inspiring! Thank you for reading, Kristine. 🙂

  2. I am glad that you found it beautiful. Yes, some people are like that right? They teach us to stay different. 🙂 Thank you for reading.

  3. Yes, real conversations are always great and rare too. I just blinked and I was not 13 anymore, I so agree with you on that. 🙂 Thank you for reading, Patrick.

  4. If is always good to meet someone who is still willing to have a real conversation and exchange ideas. Be sure not to blink because 55 will catch up to you before you know it. It has happened to me.

  5. Beautifully narrated. I am sure that person left a very good impression on you! Thank you for writing it for the world.

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