Today I was stopped at the top of a hill, trying to get an eyelash out of my eye - and also because I need a quick break. I didn't see the guy until he was right behind me - yarmulke, friendly brown eyes, mid-30s.
"You can't tell anyone you saw me stopped," I said. "It will be our little secret."
His response was immediate. He said with mock severity in heavily accented English, "Then don't let me pass you again."
It made me smile for the next two miles. I like people who can banter. And to banter in your second language is a real feat. When I lived in Germany, I discovered how hard it is to "get" humor when you are out of your element. You tend to assume all conversation is serious, and it takes a while to work out that someone is joking. Usually by that time the joke has fled.