Chatting with people at the diner counter
I frequent the Hubbard Avenue Diner in Middleton, WI. If I'm there alone, I always end up grabbing a seat at the counter. There is always room there, and it's first come first serve. I don't really like waiting in line unless I'm with a group of friends and we all have cups of coffee.
It's almost guaranteed that I can strike up a conversation with someone else at the counter, especially if they are also there alone.
My previous experience was with a lovely elderly woman, who ate her corned beef hash, and chatted with me about technology. She wondered if I had a web cam on my computer to talk to family (she had one, but didn't know how to use it.)
Today I met a nurse from Fort Atkinson, who sat to my left and ordered the upside down taco salad. She was packing a first-gen iPhone, which started our conversation. After discovering I grew up in northern Michigan, she clued me in to her other home, in Watersmeet, Michigan. Her and her husband spend time in the Houghton area while snowmobiling, too.
She asked how my black bean soup was, and admitted she thought it was probably bland as I requested Tabasco sauce. I agreed, and we mentioned Panera's black bean soup, as well as the black bean burger at the diner.
Her daughter went to University of Wisconsin - Madison, and was now in Boulder, Colorado (where, if I ever decide to go back to school, might be my destination.) The daughter would be happy to recommend the Boulder area.
We said our goodbyes, and I returned to my car, opening the windows and moonroof. People are neat.