I was walking down the street in downtown Vancouver and noticed a man was walking beside me. He kept looking towards me but when I looked back at him, he turned away. I had my headphones in so I couldn’t hear him, but I noticed he was talking. I paused my music and heard him speak again, but he wasn’t making eye contact with me, so I assumed he was speaking on the phone as he also had headphones in. I kept walking and eventually stopped for a minute before heading inside. He approached me and asked if I had a lighter. I nodded yes and handed it to him. He then began to ask me where I was from. I took out my earphone and reluctantly engaged in this conversation to be polite. Eventually he sensed that I wasn’t interested in having a conversation and he left. Why didn’t I want to talk to him? He was polite, young, and approachable but that didn’t interest me. They say, don’t judge a book by its cover but when a stranger approaches you on the street, that’s exactly what you do. The way someone dresses themselves for the day can reveal a lot about them. He was in his mid-twenties but he wasn’t dressed in workwear. We were outside my university, but he didn’t have a book bag. His hair was a bit messy and his pants were baggy and when he spoke to me, he shifted in his shoes. Now I knew where this was going so I gave short, abrupt answers and didn’t ask any questions back. Eventually he thanked me and walked away. If a random person sent me a message online, I would ignore the message and likely block the account. However, since this interaction happened in person, I had to engage in order to not seem rude as he was being very polite. The visual cues I got from him had a huge effect on the way I responded to him as they likely do with any stranger encounter one has. We like to think we don’t judge a book by its cover but it’s clear we do it every day.