The Kindness of Strangers

2 Apr

I think one of the things that has bowled me over the most about people here in the US and Denver in particular, is how aggressively nice and helpful everyone is! It’s almost impossible to not make friends here; everybody from checkout lady to crazy bag-lady wants to be your mate. Even before we landed in Denver people went out of their way to be welcoming and we found ourselves flush with phone numbers and business cards. We spoke to a couple of middle aged women who (having a poor grasp of the queens English, wot wot!) laughed at my use of the word ‘rubbish’. Both gave me their numbers but were interrupted by a sporty looking young woman offering to look out for any work going at the local museums. People actually fight over being nice to you! (Admittedly it does help having a super sexy English accent!) My slowly swelling ego aside, I really feel that the friendliness of the locals has played a huge part in how comfortable we have felt with the move.  Here are three standout examples.

I was walking down the 16th street mall on our first proper day in Denver, and I happened to be wearing a T-shirt with the name of a Greek island I’ve been visiting since I was a fetus. Anyway, I was in the process of almost getting myself run over (To pre-empt a worried 3am Skype call; mum and dad, I’m very careful and looks both ways, honest!) when a middle-aged woman with short dark hair and sunglasses suddenly shouts at me ‘Oh my gawd, are you Greek? I haven’t met anyone who knows about Antiparos!’. 5 minutes, a short tram ride and a passionate discussion about the state of the Eurozone later, we have exchanged emails and she promises to take me out for ‘the best Greek food in Denver’! All achieved in under 10 minutes through the sheer power of my T-shirt’s awesomeness!

Free tram ride up 16th street Mall… very very cool!

A few days later I decided to check out one of the bars here in Denver. Whilst the first choice was shut (a gay cowboy bar called ‘Charlie’s’… don’t judge, I’m sure it’s about 70% ironic… maybe…). Therefore I ended up in a diner come gay bar called Hamburger Mary’s. What first stunned me was that the place was so crowded on a Tuesday night. I ended up staying for drag queen bingo, (Yes straight friends, this is actually a thing!) and the two drag queens took a shining to my accent; I ended up with a free shot of something gross (It tasted like something you’d throw up after eating too much Christmas pudding). After a few hours I decided, having got chatting with a nice bunch of girls, that I would stay for another beer… (As those of you who may know me this may come as no surprise that I ended up staying out till 2am with more than a few beers in me.) The two drag queens took pity on the poor lonely Brit (I might have milked it somewhat) and drove me to somewhere called X-bar. Once there I was taken by my two terrifying chaperones and introduced to what seemed to be the entire gay community of Denver! I was bought drinks, quizzed about the Queen and British dentistry but most importantly made to feel very welcome. It really contrasted with the snootiness and image-consciousness of Soho in London. This felt more like a bunch of guys and girls (who happen to share gene Xq28) getting together for a midweek piss-up; no airs and graces, no aggressive sexuality and no prissiness.

Last one, and it comes with a bit of a plug, if you move to a new city and you’re looking to meet new people, or even just want a novel experience in your hometown, check out comegrubwithus.com. Before moving to Denver I stumbled across this site, set up a profile and created a meal at a mystery restaurant with total randomers in my chosen city, Denver. It basically functions like an ofline socialnetworking site; you create an event, people in the area sign up to attend and then once 5 or more people show interest, it’s on! I ended up at a pretty decent pizza restaurant with 7 other Denverites. I met a lovely woman who works in film and television and have agreed to have her over for a film-night and perhaps go out for a pub quiz known as ‘geeks who drink.’ I also met a couple who work in videogames, and a friendly gay couple who happen to be making the move to London in a few weeks (talk about ships in the night). Anyway it was a cool experience with a distinct lack of awkward silences. I got a lot out of it and who knows may even have made some new friends.

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One Response to “The Kindness of Strangers”

  1. Honey May 11, 2017 at 5:08 am #

    Gent.le Dott. Lubrano, sono lieta che una persona come Lei non collabori più con Unimedia. Io ho avuto una breve collaborazione con que#i&s8217;aztenda interrotta in giugno c.a. Tutt’ora devono liquidarmi le provvigioni (parlo di 100 euro!!). Non mi inviano le copie delle fatture e non mi avevano chiuso la posizione enasarco creandomi disagi con la nuova azienda con cui collaboro. E si vendono per paladini dei diritti dei cittadini!!! Vergogna…

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