I walked to work alone this morning. As I stood waiting for the crosswalk to turn, a girl on a white bike rolled to a stop to my right. I pointed–like a child points at something they want–and said me encanta tu bici! (I love your bike!).

She pulled her headphone out of her left ear and I repeated myself. A big smile came across her face, “thank you! I’ve had it for years!” He voice was sing-songy and sweet.

“And your basket.” She basked had a basket in front of the handle bars with her purse and a folder in it.

“You need to get yourself a bike so you can bike to work!” She told me.

I was dressed for work, obviously, and walking to work.

“I have one! It’s just at home, I don’t live here.”

“How long are you in town?”

By this point we were in the middle of the street, she was biking really slowly a little in front of me and I was crossing the street behind her.

“I leave Saturday for Machu Picchu.”

“I’m from Cusco!”

[You have to fly to Cusco to get to Machu Picchu.]

“How cool! I can’t wait to visit.”

She opened her purse up and pulled out a card, “here’s my card with all my contact info. Write me and we’ll chat more!”

“Thank you! I’m Sally,” I took her card.

“I’m Milenka. Gracias.!” 

I walked down the street and she crossed the other street, I watched as she rode her bike in the bike lane and I missed biking. And I promised myself that when I was home I would get myself a bike that I really like. I’ve had this bike for years and it’s fine but it’s not very comfortable.

The exchange made my morning. I walked to work happy, she was so sweet and so genuinely happy to meet me. I added her phone number to my contacts and sent her a message on WhatsApp. She told me we should meet up for drinks and get to know one another. Turns out she’s a fashion designer and an illustrator.

She invited me to an art opening this evening and I hope to go. It’s amazing to meet people, all over the world, and find out that you have similar interests. In other words, we can make friends anywhere we go if we just live life heart forward.

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