I know it’s not the stereotype where I’m from, but I really do find most of them friendly. Americans strike up conversations easily and frequently and are often ready for a chat. That is one thing I love about being here. It really is okay to talk to strangers, and you don’t get glared down when you do. You just never know who you’re going to meet.
However, when the conversation is more than a random chit chat in a queue or other such encounter, they also talk a lot. A lot. And mostly about themselves. It can be very tiring to keep up the nodding, agreeing, oohing and aahing you feel you need to make in order to appear polite. Meanwhile, your sentence beginnings remain stuck in the back of your throat as you try and staccato out a phrase when you think it is finally your turn to speak only to find out that it was not.
So I was pleased when after being cooped up inside and only speaking to Gin, J and a girl on the phone all day I had a great chat with the guy who served me at Dosa Truck, a South Indian food truck that was out the front of Silver Lake Wine. It was a quiet time of night with barely any customers, so I stuck around to eat my dosa and had a nice conversation about Palm Springs, film sets, Australian versus New Zealand accents, taking public transport, the desert and food trucks.
There is something really invigorating about a good chat. Especially an unexpected one. I walked back to my car feeling really happy and I felt that knot of excitement at being somewhere new with millions of new people to meet return to me.
I love the languorous nature of brunch. It starts with a sleep in and (usually) unhurried getting ready time. Then there is the soul rejuvenating coffee, the eggs and bacon or pancakes and most importantly, the excellent company of good friends.
Brunch always seems to be the most gossipy of shared meals. You can debrief the events of a big night, each person recalling different details and plots. You find out what people are up to in a bulletin that beats any newspaper or Twitter feed. Afterwards, there is a whole afternoon that can be filled with activity: shopping, more coffee, checking out an art gallery, seeing a movie or just aimless wander. It’s quite spontaneous.
Today I had a two-hour brunch with my friends KP and Galleria*. It’s been awhile since our last brunch, as KP has moved away and only Galleria remains on the arts board we all served on. At our last brunch, we all arrived wearing the same shade of green, which was a rather coordinated fluke that earned a paying out from Mario the owner. The strict instructions were not to wear green, so I thought I would be safe in a grey tank top with a print on it. However both girls turned up in shades of grey, so we managed to pull off our fluke for the second time running, though this time it wasn’t as obvious. I should have gotten a photo, but we were too busy chatting to pause for a “cheese!”.
So instead, here’s our no-it’s-not-St Patrick’s Day brunch pic instead.
We chatted about all the important things in the world:
Christmas and the exchanging of gifts
Plans for new years
Plans for 2011
Animal Kingdom (the movie) and assorted TV programs
Family and the mixed bag of love and hate that comes with it
Work – the good, the bad and the blah
Oprah’s visit to Australia
My farewell party(s)
Do they think I’ll come back with an American accent (the response was “no, but you’d better not”)
And surprisingly there was hardly any talk of any boys. There just wasn’t time between all that, my two coffees and Moroccan eggs. I heart brunch.
*She may be of Italian descent, but her real name doesn’t translate to Gallery.