In Chicago for recruiting, my co-worker Greg and I decided on deep dish pizza for dinner before flying out. It wasn’t a consentual decision. He had never had deep dish pizza before so I relented. Giordano’s, the popular Chicago chain, was a few blocks from the hotel.
We ordered one small deep dish pepperoni and cheese, and another small thin crust Hawaiian (pineapple and ham). While waiting (it took a good hour for the pizzas to arrive), we became engrossed in the hit TV show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ as did everyone else. Operations practically came to a standstill as the employees parked themselves in front of the television and hooted along with the customers. The customer sitting at the next table over, an older business man in a suit and tie, surprised us by dishing out his own commentary–clearly an avid fan of a show I thought only women watched. People, this is why I don’t own a TV. I would be addicted!
My last night in Minneapolis, I was as happy as a gay guy at a Celine Dion concert while watching the marathon of ‘Project Runway’ in my hotel room. I didn’t even leave to get dinner, I was literally in bliss watching the show. I had room service deliver two pan-sized homemade chocolate chip cookies and nonfat milk.
During the flight home from Minneapolis, the loquacious man seated next to me was dying to converse with someone. I sat by the window. He was in the middle. A business woman had the aisle seat. Before I sat down, I could tell the business woman looked irritated. I suspect he had talked her ear off and she didn’t want to encourage him any further. Every time he asked her a question, she nodded or shook her head, then promptly went back to reading her book, appropriately titled, “Finding Inner Peace.” I laughed when I saw that. When it was obvious that the cabin doors were going to close, she looked up and down the aisles, then told the guy, “I see a few vacant aisle seats if you want to move.” He didn’t.
After getting settled in my seat, he turned his attention on me. “So do you live in Minneapolis? Were you here for work? Do you live in San Francisco? What do you do?” He was lucky I was in an ok mood because I can’t stand talkative people. Why don’t they just shut up! Travelling is stressful as it is. I don’t need some stranger blabbering in my ear.
I answered his questions. He told me he was from Connecticut, going to San Francisco for the first time for a long weekend vacation. He didn’t have any set plans. Since I lived in the city, would I give him a few recommendations. I was happy to do it. I took out an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and filled it out front and back. Favorite restaurants, museums, bars, neighborhoods. I detailed the best times to go, streets and cross-streets, what not to miss. I had written down my favorite cheap eats, my favorite spots for sushi, mexican, thai… The most important part of vacation is the food!
I was pretty impressed with what I had put together. He was, too. He looked it over, making sure he could decipher my scribbles. Then he handed it back to me and asked, “Ummm, would you mind writing down your favorite pizza joint? I’m really into pizza.”
But of course, an East Coast construction worker isn’t going to care that we have some of the best sushi or tacos in the world!