I’ll admit it – I don’t often talk to strangers on airplane flights (or conversely, they don’t often talk to me). Maybe it’s because when I get to my plane seat I quickly set into passing the time (reading, listening to music/audio, sometimes sleeping) and people might interpret this as aloofness. Some conversations that I have had were fascinating such as when I shared a flight with a world-renown judge of cat shows.
I did have another interesting one recently with a young man traveling to San Francisco from the East Coast. This kid (he told me he was 24) looked exactly like the stereotypical hippie from the ’60s (he could have been a cast member for a theatrical revival of Hair) and was from North Carolina (like me) which triggered our conversation. He told me that he was moving to Northern California to work in the medicinal herb business based on his extensive experience in Florida and North Carolina. This lead to his description of how herbs can increase knowledge and awareness.
If you haven’t guessed already (and which became clear as he “warmed up” to me), the medicinal herbs he meant were marijuana/pot. If that weren’t interesting enough, he told me that he had been recruited by Northern California farmers for his cultivation skills. His new employers were going to meet him in San Francisco and take him to his work location (which he did not know in advance when accepting the job).
I found this concept fascinating – national recruitment of individuals with pot growing skills, just like any other job search and recruitment process. I’m not sure what to make of it – I certainly steered clear of him at baggage claim – but it certainly made the flight pass more quickly and gives me an interesting story to tell.