Strangers at the bar

illustration by MARK STIVERS

A few weekends ago, I was at OneSpeed meeting up with a cheesemonger friend. As we discussed work business over bruschetta, we got on to a topic that we all rather enjoyed discussing: cheese.

A girl next to us at the bar then questioned what it was we did. We told her, and then she wondered if she could ask some advice on putting together a good cheese plate. We made a few suggestions such as P’tit Basque, but that for $3 per pound more you could serve Abbaye de Bel’loc, which is a greater version of the latter, and so on.

The conversation then turned to other topics, and three hours later we were all still talking and making plans to get together again soon. It was one of the best afternoons I had had in a while. The lesson: If it feels right, take a chance and say hello to the person next to you at the bar. That person may be your new best friend. Restaurants, it seems, are still one of the best places to meet new people.