(Now that that's out of the way):
Today I was at a restaurant I go to at least 5 times a week. An unusual looking guy (I guessed around thirty or so) sat at the bar about three chairs down. I caught him looking at my sushi. I was annoyed - typically timid South African, I didn't want him to talk to me. I'm usually much more comfortable pretending to text or to be on the phone or to think really hard and to avoid eye contact completely - anything's better than talking to a stranger.
"What's that you're eating?"
HOLY SHIT: HE'S AMERICAN.
I was shy but quickly convinced myself to strike up a conversation with him (especially after he told me he lives in NYC). And I was so proud of myself. We chatted for the rest of the meal. He showed me pictures of Hurricane Sandy, his home, his halloween outfit, etc. Told me he was there at the restaurant (eating Sushi) because it's Thanks Giving today. I said "not quite a turkey" and he laughed. It was sweet of him.
We chatted away, he could hear me (I worked quite hard not to mumble) and he introduced himself right at the end as 'Joe from New York City'. And he wasn't a jerk, or obnoxious, or loud, or stupid or naïve, or any of the other equally as presumptuous traits so many South Africans readily lend their Western counterparts. He was just Joe from New York City. And it was so nice to meet him.
I'm so excited for next year.