His head jerked my direction in surprise and in a thick accent replied, "Excuse me? I'm sorry. I do not understand... I am French."
"Oh!" I said, laughing. "I'll race you. To the top of the stairs."
He smiled but explained that he had been walking around the city all day and was very tired.
"I would be too," I said, smiling. "No problem. Have a nice day!" And ran off, thinking nothing more of it.
But, best part? I was walking down Cuba street later that night when an old man with wild white hair stopped me. "It's you!" He said. "It's me?!" I replied looking at him curiously. I had never seen him before. "Are you sure?" "Yes!" He said. "You asked me to run up the stairs today!" I couldn't believe it. It was my Frenchman. Sans skull rag, jacket and glasses. He looked completely different. But it was him nonetheless. So we laughed and struck up a conversation and ended up chatting for the next 2 1/2 hours about jobs, travel, family and life and it was completely wonderful.
Running is good for the soul. And so is talking strangers.