A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting for the 25 Bus when a woman approached me and asked, "est-ce que le bus a déjà passé?" Has the bus already gone by?
"Non, je crois pas." I don't think so.
"Vous avez un accent! Vous n'êtes pas d'ici?" You have an accent! You're not from here?
So I explained that I was from California. While riding the bus we had a conversation, in French of course, about what it was like to move here and what I was doing for Christmas. Her stop came first, and she wished me "bonne chance."
Despite being singled out as a foreigner, I still felt like a part of the country. Here I was, answering an ordinary every day question and turning that interaction into more than a simple utterance of "no."