One of my favorite things to do is chat with taxi drivers. Given the fact that they spend most of their lives stuck in a Beijing traffic jam, they tend to be rather chatty and jolly, especially when they discover that I can actually talk with them.
I've had a lot of fun and bizarre conversations over the years, and one the other night was no exception.
I was taking some out-0f-town visitors to a restaurant, and we got a cab from their hotel. The driver didn't seem to be all that thrilled with having to haul three foreigners and my initial attempts to make conversation with him were met with grunts.
After I made a quick call to someone and had a short conversation in Chinese, I think he realized that my speaking ability was a bit more than he'd thought, so he started chatting with me.
"Where are you from?," he asked.
"'America," I replied. "And you? Where are you from?"
That question usually gets a chuckle or a guffaw, but without batting an eye he pointed into the air and replied, "Outer space. I'm from outer space!"
Now it was my turn to laugh!
He made my day.