I've had some interesting encounters with people of late.
At lunch with a French woman in the travel industry, the discussion turned to how current events have soured travel to Paris for Americans.
I expected her to launch into the obligatory diatribe against President Bush and the war in Iraq. Instead, she said that France made a mistake in not supporting the U.S. and that her countrymen love Americans but hadn't treated us as friends should. Judging from new books and reports in the press, there does seem to be a little backlash against the French government's anti-American stance.
Also, the little old lady who takes it upon herself to receive packages for people in my building (which doesn't have a concierge) rang my bell a few nights ago.
She had come to give me a candy bar, because I'd carried her trash bag downstairs that morning. If you'd seen her painfully slow descent of the stairs, you would have done the same thing. But she told me, basically, that she didn't want to be in my debt, ergo the sweets. It seemed important to her but made me sad.