More from An Imaginary Trip Around the World

Here’s another story from  An Imaginary Trip Around the World, the brand-new writing collection from the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program and the NYU Gallatin Writing Program. The following story, along with the other stories in the collection, comes from the Advanced Writing Class taught by Prof. June Foley of NYU Gallatin with the help of undergraduate student-teachers. Enjoy!


Alex Gheciu

This Wednesday, I was walking on the street with a friend of mine, then we went inside a coffee shop to get a warm drink. While we waited in line, a young lady, looking to me like 30 years old, started talking to us in a very positive manner. She said a couple of interesting things.

“Sleep when you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry, and try to walk or move as much as you can! That’s what my mom always said to me, and she asked me to spread this message to others any time I get the chance,” she said.

She asked us how old we thought she was, and we said, “Thirty-something?”

Wrong. She said she was 51 years old. Then she said, “You guys are like 26 years old, right?”


Yes, she was right because my friend is turning 26 in two weeks, and I’m also young, 36 years old.

“Okay, then you definitely know some secrets too!” she said to me. We all started to laugh. It was a funny and pleasant moment at the same time.

I actually have my own explanation for those 10 “extra” years on my ID card. I think my youthfulness is how life pays me back for loving it so much. Or maybe that’s just God paying me back for all of those days (years) I was praying to him when I was a kid. Or maybe that’s how I look after shaving my beard and getting a nice haircut? Or maybe she couldn’t see my wrinkles? Or maybe that young lady just decided to make someone happy by saying that. Or maybe. . .


One fact is clear to me—she tried to share her positive thoughts to others in a nice manner. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?


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