We are told, from a young age, not to interact with strangers. And let's be honest, that is sound advice.
With plenty of creeps and weirdos around, it's best for parents to just nip any possibility of abduction in the bud early.
But when we grow into adults, we can take care of ourselves. We develop a keener sense of people: who is approachable, who's not, and when it is or isn't a good time to strike up conversation.
That well-honed sense can open us up to so many amazing interactions that, without being just a little bold, we would never have the chance to experience.
Some Redditors recalled the times they read the moment right and got a very memorable encounter out of it.
Defiant_Cat7301 asked, "What's the most memorable moment you shared with a stranger who you never saw again?"
Many times, the moment begins with an act of kindness from one stranger to another. Simply lending a helping hand can be enough to smash things wide open and lay the groundwork for a great back and forth.
"I moved across the US a few years back (Washington to Ohio) and the first night I stopped at a random truck stop in Montana (I slept in the back seat of my truck). The next morning, I was letting my truck warm up when I noticed someone a few spots down was having a hard time getting his truck started so, of course, I went to help him."
"We got to talking and come to find out, not only did we work in similar lines of work, have similar backstories (both graduated in the same year from small towns, were navy veterans that were on subs, similar degree, etc.), but he was coming from Columbus Ohio going to Centralia Washington, and I was coming from Centralia Washington heading to Columbus Ohio. It was really weird."
"I was standing nearby this couple in Dollar Tree. I was deciding what snack I wanted and I overheard that the guy really liked Reese's bars but they didn't see any. Pre-Covid, I had frequented that particular Dollar Tree often, since it was nearby my house, and I knew that the store usually had those bars, they just weren't usually kept in the snack isle."
"I quickly checked the one island between the isles and the checkout and I found them. I went back to where the couple was, tapped the girl's shoulder and silently pointed them to the Reese's bars. Then I went back to doing my stuff."
"I was in the Flagstaff, Arizona area and hiked up 12,637 ft. Humphrey's Peak with a small group of people. On the way up, we met a young woman who had been hiking up the mountain with a group of her friends, but for some reason they left her behind."
"She was a slower hiker, but they should have never ditched her. She joined up with our group and made it to the top of the mountain, but on the way down it was clear that she was slowing us down. We weren't going to leave her behind like her friends did, however, so we went down the mountain at her speed."
"We ended up being on the mountain much longer than we planned, and soon it got dark when we were only about halfway down. That's when we realized we only had two small flashlights for 6 people. Hiking in near-pitch dark slowed us down even more, so I think we didn't even get down to the trailhead until around 10pm. It was unnerving not being able to see where we were putting our feet down, and I was sure someone was going to break an ankle. Luckily we made it down safely."
"When we got there, her friends were waiting, and they were mad that they had to sit and wait for her! After we made sure she was safe and good to go, we said goodbye and told her that she needed some new friends."
A Very Clutch Hitcher
"I was heading out on a three-hour drive from West Texas to The Metroplex. Stopped to fill up and, as I was pulling up to the pumps, saw a car pull in and let a hitchhiker out. When I was about to pull out of the parking lot and head for the highway, he started yelling, 'Wait!' and 'Don't let her leave!' which pretty much freaked me out until several people looked my way and signaled for me to stop."
"Turns out, I had a tire that was seriously under inflated. He helped me get air in the tire and we chatted for a bit. His last ride lived in the area, so had dropped him here beside the highway to catch his next ride. First and only time I've ever taken a hitcher while driving solo, but if ever a hitcher earned a ride, it was this guy. Made for a really quick trip, too, because he was smart and funny and made great conversation."
"I missed the last bus home (hour and a half away) after a big night out. I resigned myself to sleeping at the bus stop and was trying to get comfortable when some locals walked past. They asked me what i was doing and when I told them they said they were heading home and to come party and I could crash there."
"Went back to this guys waterfront mansion and drank and listened to classic records. Crashed out and left before they got up. I had his number so i texted him thanks later that morning and got a 'no worries champ' back. Never contacted him again."
Safety in Numbers
"Was being followed on campus and I ran up to three girls who were walking the same direction as me. I pretended to know them and quietly explained what was happening."
"They immediately incorporated me into the group and even when the guy stopped following me, they walked me to my dorm and made sure I got into the building okay."
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"A homeless guy gave me roses."
"I was barely scraping by as a daytime bartender, my car had died and I had to take a bus. The nearest stop to my job was in a dirty, edgy area of downtown and I had learned to not make eye contact with anyone."
"But one afternoon I saw a guy wearing nothing but a pair of filthy, bad-fitting overalls come ambling up the street barefoot, carrying something red. I did a double-take and our eyes met. Before I could react, he was standing in front of me with a bouquet of red roses, the stems wrapped in newspaper. He shoved the flowers into my hands, wished me a nice day, then went on his way."
"I was too stunned to react in the moment, and I looked for him every day after that, hoping I could buy him a sandwich or something, but I never saw him again. It's such a strange story that I wouldn't blame anyone who didn't believe it, but it really did happen and I'll never forget that guy."
"I was going through a tough patch and his strange and kind gesture reminded me that good things can happen when you least expect it."
Other people talked about a time that, for whatever reason, conversation began and everything else was history. They spent either a memorable moment, or even hours and hours, with a new person because the vibe was right.
Just a Good Day
"I met a guy at a restaurant. We were both in town for a short time. Me, for a convention and him for work. After eating and parting ways, I ran into him again, so we decided to explore the city together for the next 5 hours."
"He then walked me to the train station and I will always remember that day very fondly."
"Stuck in a traffic jam for almost an hour and got bored and did the swervy thing you see NASCAR drivers to during the pace lap. In my mirror a few cars back I spot a guy doing the same thing. He only ever did it after I did and we continued our swerve dance until traffic cleared up."
"He eventually caught up to and passed me, but not before exchanging a friendly wave as he went by. Hope he's doing well."
"Met a woman on a glacier excursion in Argentina. We went and had some beers afterward and had an absolute great time. No hookup or make out or anything -- just a great night out at the bar with a British chick, telling each other about life in our respective countries."
"This was like 16 years ago and I still think about it sometimes. Great night."
Under Her Wing
"She was actually a cousin but still a stranger to me. We'd gone to visit my dad's family and to attend his family reunion one summer when I was 8. I'm the youngest of 8 (next sibling is nearly 10 years older) so I was basically an afterthought. She was 17 and it was my very first time meeting her."
"We were there for 2 weeks and for most days she took me on an adventure. Ice cream. Snow cones. Fishing. Flying kites. Swimming. Bike riding. She would tell me about how she always wanted a sibling and wanting to go to college to get out of that small town and she would listen to me drone on about things that my siblings could care less about. She even let me drive her car once. I had to sit on her lap and we ended up in a ditch but it was so much fun."
"She made me feel like I had a real sister and I loved her instantly. When we left I cried myself to sleep. I never saw or heard from her again because a few months later she was killed by a drunk driver."
Sometimes, however, the circumstances were a bit grimmer. A crisis or medical emergency can be just the thing to dissolve the social norms and create some serious closeness, if only for the brief time that's necessary.
A Worthy Bystander
"Driving my kid to school last year and came up on a young woman laying in the road. She had just wrecked and was thrown from the vehicle."
"I covered her with a blanket from my car (it was late February in Indiana) and held her hand until the ambulance arrived. I hope she's ok."
Nurses: A Unique Breed
"I was rushed into the emergency room to deliver my baby whose heart rate had dropped off during delivery. They literally ran me in the room and started operating. I could not move or talk or anything from the fear and shock. God bless the nurse that was right there by my side."
"I can't even remember what she said, and I never saw her again, but she just keep saying the most reassuring things in the worst of moments."
"Definitely the time I was on a crowded bus with an incredibly erratic (and possibly drunk) driver. The person next to me and I kept joking around that we were gonna die every time the driver swerved the wrong way, pumped the breaks in the middle of traffic, and drifted in and out of traffic lanes."
"It became WAY less funny when the driver almost drove off the freeway & into a body of water below three times. People riding the bus had to come up to the front and literally help steer the wheel and navigate back on course, a couple people were on the phone with 911, some people in the back were literally crying."
"It was insane, and for sure the most memorable moment I've shared with a group of strangers. Never saw any of the people on that bus ever again, hope they're all doing well & haven't had to experience a bus ride like that ever again."
A Worthy Distraction
"I was at a music festival with friends when I got a pounding headache (dehydrated most likely. Drink water people!). I told our group I was going to sit down for a bit against a nearby wall."
"I'd only been there for a short while when a girl came over with a look of genuine concern, asking if I was ok. I said I had a headache, but was feeling better after having a bottle of water. Anyway, she sat down and told her friends she'd catch up with them."
"We ended up talking for about an hour or so. We had heaps in common. At no time did I feel as though I should ask for her number or anything. It was just a really nice, easy-going chat about different subjects."
"Time went by so quickly that we were both surprised when my friends came over and said the next band I'd wanted to see was about to start. I thanked her for checking on me, she thanked me for a chilled chat and we both went our separate ways."
"This would be about 20-25 years ago and I still clearly remember it."
So next time you're wandering around among plenty of strangers, maybe take a second to deliberately open yourself up. Put on an approachable face, or even make a comment out loud.
You never know the kind of day you might have after it.
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The finite nature of a hotel stay can lead guests to behave in ways they wouldn't normally. And where there is saucy behavior, there are the artifacts left behind.
And who is there to pick up those pieces on the following morning? The hotel staff--cleaners, maintenance people, technicians, even managers when things get unruly enough.
Some Redditors who've occupied those positions recently shared the wildest things ever left behind by guests.
Some were gross, some exciting, and some just downright puzzling.
MichaelJCaboose_ asked, "Hotel cleaners of Reddit, what's your most memorable find left behind by a guest?"
Many people chose to share the times they came upon the disgusting remnants of an uninhibited night before. The guests responsible left a collage of artifacts that looked more like a still-life picture of hedonism than a living quarters.
"Three empty bottles of wine, about two dozen cherry pits scattered all over the floor and under the furniture, and red-colored puke all over the bedspread."
"There was only one guy staying in the room."
The Consequences of Fame
"Found a human poo in the kettle once. Worse part was it was a 'celebrity' (crappy uk reality show) doing a guest appearance at a local club."
"Him and his mates filled the rooms iPad with di** pics too. Hotel got rid of the iPads shortly after that."
Taking it Literally
"By the tub: empty gallon JUGS of milk next to empty CONTAINERS of Quaker Oats."
"Ma'am that is not how you have an oatmeal bath."
"If it matters, it was whole milk."
Of Another Species
"Not me, but my best friend works in house keeping at a hotel chain. I've heard some nightmare stories, but there are two that really stand out. The first was after a furry convention came through town, and there was an absurd amount of sex toys left behind. It's pretty common to come across them from time to time, but this almost had to be purposeful."
"The second was a massive unflushable sh**. She refused to dispose of it, and left the task to her manager. She described it as inhuman, and the size of a football. It took a spatula and a knife from their kitchen to make it manageable enough to flush."
People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday
No Closet Is Too Nice
"Friend worked a 5-star hotel and found a turd in the closet." -- Boganvillia
"That's not a very nice thing to call your guest, but as someone that worked in customer service, I agree. They are turds." -- theassassintherapist
"Closet poopers are what happens to shy poopers if they don't face their poop anxiety." -- Stunning_Honeydew201
OTC Drug Use
"Packets and packets of ibuprofen. Just everywhere - bottles too. It was football players staying there."
"I do maintenance. Had a group of part time housekeepers that are mentally handicapped working with their job coach go into a suite with adjoining door. There were 3 construction workers staying, 2 and their supervisor."
"In the one side with a pull out couch and DVD player, they found a full size blow up doll, empty small bottles of lube, used condoms, several beer bottles, and a stack of porn on DVD. Doll was on the pull out couch and everything else was all over the bed."
Other former cleaners described the times they came to a vacant room to find some very unexpected objects. These weren't as gross as the previous examples.
But the mysteries of what exactly the guests did with these items are still unsolved.
Steer Clear of Gadgets
"Almost tazed myself with a 'tube of lipstick' that I found under the bed." -- Naprisun
"insert lipstick taser gif here" -- georgiomoorlord
"so nobody's talking about this person using hotel bed lipstick" -- ST4R3
"Wasn't the cleaner, was overnight manager. The morning shift housekeeper called me to a room that had a live diamondback rattlesnake in it. We were located downtown, no way it just came in from outside."
"Found out a week later the guest was part of that snake handler church."
Back on the Road
"My friend's family owns a motel. He tells me they once found an auto transmission in the bathtub of a room." -- smorkoid
"Yup, I've heard of this before. You go to the town on a bachelor party, take a pill and then wake up and your transmission is in the bathtub full of ice and 3rd gear was removed" -- cavegoatlove
Making it Cozy
"I worked as a hotel cleaner during undergrad."
"My first day of work someone left a hatchet in the bathtub."
"Also, someone completely decorated the room with framed family pictures.. and left them all there. I think their stay was only 2 days. They set some up on the furniture.. but also legit hung some on the walls."
Finally, some people shared about the times they were pleasantly surprised to find that guests left behind some really nice stuff.
And, of course, finders keepers was in full swing.
"I worked for a hotel that had cabins, so I would be in and out all day in the hot sun. On one of those hot days I opened the fridge to find an unopened bottle of Dr. Pepper in the freezer part.. it was perfectly slushed."
"It made my day. This was years ago, too!"
As If They Knew
"A whole box of magnum ice creams. My fave!" -- nightcana
"If this was in Melbourne, you're welcome. I bought them but got invited out. Checked out the next day and left them in the freezer and I couldn't stand the thought of putting them in the bin." -- hemansteve
"My partner gets apartments ready for the next people renting them out after leases are up, they've found so, so many bdsm toys. One of which (a flogger) is my cats favorite toy over all others now including her very expensive cat toys hahaha"
"My girlfriend worked the front desk at a hotel where snoop Dogg stayed."
"He left his drawers and white tees. Snoop also left a bunch of Tic Tacs."
"But the best thing he left was a plastic Tupperware bowl over the smoke detector."
It's a fun idea to think back on all your hotel stays and recall anything you've left behind over the years.
And then, depending on what exactly it was, you can imagine what the other side of that story turned out to be.
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