Normally, I'm polite. But stick a notepad and pen in my hand, and I become a shameless snoop. I will casually ask the sorts of questions your mother probably taught you were rude.
For example on a story about a startup : How much money do you earn? For a quick quote from a front row celebrity at fashion week: Who are you wearing? It never ceases to delight me that complete strangers are most often quite happy to give direct answers. And then some. Even so, I was taken aback several years ago when a woman I was interviewing about her job confessed that it was not really what she wanted to do. What was her ideal job? She said something to the effect: