This evening as I was leaving my studio, I noticed a man at the bus stop. I locked the the door and then headed his direction to get to my car (while attempting to avoid too much contact with this guy - simply because, well... you never know). However, I did sort of nod a hello to him as I approached. Which I immediately regretted because he made a gesture with his had... he pinched his thumb and index finger together - kind of like the "okay" sign. He also said something, but the sound of the traffic drowned him out.
Part of me just wanted to keep walking because... well... the hand gesture could have been asking "Do you want to get high?" For some reason though, I leaned towards him and said "Excuse me?"
And he said "You look beautiful. I said you're beautiful."
Wow. Was NOT expecting THAT.
I just grinned, thanked him, and went on my merry way. And my way was indeed merry, because a stranger at a bus stop made me happy.
I definitely encourage everyone to compliment a stranger. Tell them they're beautiful, handsome, that they've got great style, whatever. (I often compliment people on their snappy sense of style.) You could just make their day.
By the way, after the fact, I realized that his hand gesture was one I think of as an Italian gesture. One that is made when when you really like something. I did a quick search and found this super cute video of adorable male models illustrating Italian hand gestures. Bus stop guy's gesture comes in at 1:10.