I'd seen them before. Four real, live monks, complete with black robes and rosaries. Youngish guys. Riding the bus downtown at rush hour. You can't blame me for being curious.
Last week I found myself sitting next to one of them, so I decided to move from curiosity to inquisitiveness. I somewhat bluntly opened with something along the lines of "so what's your story?"
Turns out they are from a Franciscan order in Halifax and are here studying for a year. They are living in the rectory of a church near us and had to decide whether to opt for a long-term car rental or monthly bus passes to get around. I guess you get to meet more people on the bus!
We had a nice chat about Ottawa, the Pope, the work of their order, and the price of bus passes. Apparently, few people make it past the curiosity stage, and if they do they blurt out some quick question just as they're getting of the bus. Their loss. I haven't been on the same bus with the brothers again since, but next time I see them I'll be able to just say hi instead of trying not to look curious.