Maybe it's because I'm focused visually when I'm working, but I find it comforting to be in places where the people around me are speaking another language. Overhearing Americans talk while traveling can also be comforting, but mostly it spoils the notion of solitary exploration. People usually assume I'm a Japanese tourist, so most of the time I can eavesdrop on conversations.
While in a butcher shop in the Chianti wine region (the shot above is actually from different butcher shop a few towns away), I heard two women talking. Not one to make small talk (and thereby ruin others' notion of solitary exploration), I couldn't get over the fact that they sounded like Milwaukeeans. And not the cartoonish Fargo movie version of a Midwestern accent, but a subtle intonation that I thought I recognized. "Are you from Wisconsin?," I asked. And sure enough, both women lived about 5 miles from my house.