After climbing this morning I walk over to See See and order a coffee. When I sit down at the bar the man to my left makes eye contact with me and smiles. I ask him if he has a few free minutes (he does) and then if he'll make eye contact with me (he will) so we do.
Then we talk about his experience making eye contact with his Russian neighbors. He tells me they make unusually strong, unbroken eye contact when communicating. I am looking forward to interacting with more Russians and looking out for this behavior.
We also discuss the pleasant social side effects of this experiment, how I'm interacting with people who I wouldn't know how to approach without this ice breaker, and how I'm learning to put aside my assumptions about people based on their looks and outward behavior as those assumptions get proven incorrect again and again through my LMEC interactions.
Todd gladly allows me to use his name and photograph.