One thing I’ve learned from being a “visitor” so often myself, people like to be welcomed. I have made such interesting acquaintances by (selectively) engaging in conversations with strangers in Istanbul, Mexico, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, lots of places. So it’s only natural that I tend to initiate conversations with visitors to Boston, too (the mother and son from Madrid, asking directions; the young German couple walking the jetty into Gloucester Harbor, many others.) One afternoon, arriving very early to hear filmmaker John Waters (in conversation with my friend Scott) at the Boston Public Library, I started a conversation with this young man, also early for what turned out to be an overflow-crowd event. Luis is from Obregón, Mexico, here in Boston to stay with friends for two months, working a little, but mostly enjoying his summer vacation from studies back home. He doesn’t have a computer with him, so he goes to the local Apple Store each day to “check in” (and take the photo above.) On the afternoon we met, he’d been on the subway, read in the paper about Waters’ appearance that day and freaked out (Pink Flamingos is one of his favorite films.) We were each carrying Waters’ new book, Role Models, so we started talking. Then, when the auditorium doors opened, we both raced to the front, sat together and talked about everything from Mexican movie star María Félix to the psicomagia of Chilean filmmaker and author (and tarot enthusiast) Alejandro Jodorowsky. Afterwards, Luis had his picture taken with Waters, a dream photo he quickly zapped to friends back home. And that was it. A new friend, a nice chance to learn about another place, another way of life. And to be reminded that foreigners, especially students, are not as afraid as Americans often are to talk with strangers. Hola, Luis.