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I’m walking towards my bus stop one morning, maybe four minutes into my fifteen-minute walk. It’s a crisp clear morning, so I don’t particularly mind the walk.

A car pulls up next to me, the driver rolls down his window and asks: “Are you going to the bus stop? Can I give you a lift?”

Just like that, I am chauffeured to the bus by a heretofore unfamiliar neighbor (whose house is far enough from ours so we shouldn’t be bumping into each other too often).

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that when I am in a car on my own, it never occurs to me to offer a ride in my car to strangers. These Americans sometimes surprise me to no end.


  1. Ilya

    Michelle, here we are talking about less than a mile ride along back roads. There are no lanes to speak of, let alone multi-passenger ones.

    Nathan, if all my interaction with the guy is while he’s behind the wheel, I think I’m safe. If he ever stops the car during that 60-second ride and decides to climb into the back seat, I’ll be on my guard.

    Not that I expect this ride to be a common happenstance.

  2. Brian Greenberg

    I was just going to say, when I’m walking somewhere, it would never occur to me to get into a car with a stranger. Although I’m sure you’re right, Ilya, that it was only a neighborly gesture, social norms being what they are, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’d probably have declined and kept walking…

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