When I leave the comfortable confines of rural America and take trips requiring air travel, I prefer to use this time to read and work on neglected projects that are hard to accomplish in the day-to-day busy work and family schedule. I would not be considered an “overly friendly traveler.” Inevitably though, I’ll sit with someone who wants to chat.
A typical interaction with someone from an urban background might go something like this: Passenger, “What do you do?” My short answer, “I’m a veterinarian.” “Oh, really,” says the suddenly animated passenger, “I have two poodles and three cats. One of my poodles keeps scratching at his ear …” I quickly reply, “Well, I’m primarily a cattle veterinarian, and I mostly work with beef cattle.” Passenger: “Really, I didn’t know cows had veterinarians. I’m trying to cut down on my meat consumption because I’m really concerned about our planet. Don’t cows contribute a lot to the global warming problem? Seems like I read something about that on Facebook.”