Sunday, November 18, 2012
No Place Like Home
It was one of the Sengalese young men from the grocery store who delivers my groceries. He was pushing an empty shopping cart, I guess on his way back to the grocery store. Without even asking, he lifted up my giant suitcase, put it in the cart, along with my totebag and there we go. He asked me if I wanted to hold on to the cart, and I said yes, so I look like I'm pushing and he's in front pulling. By the time we got to Second Avenue and crossed to the other side of 87th Street, I know people were trying to figure out who this odd couple was... homeless? Well, she can't be his mother, maybe she adopted him; maybe they're a couple. why is the suitcase in the grocery cart? I'm sure we looked rather odd.
I wanted to tip him, and took out two five dollar bills which he refused, and I urged him to take it and he refused again and finally took it. I don't know at what point a tip offends someone who was doing a good turn. Sengalese accents sound very melodic to me, somewhat like a Jamaican accent -- and when refusing the tip, he said, "You are always a very kind lady to me." And I wanted to say Really??
I know I always say hello, sometimes I comment on the weather, tip appropriately but not lavishly, thank them, etc. Every so often I get an insight into how service people like this are NOT treated well. I remember this customer in a Korean manicure place who was calling out "Girl, girl!!" and wanted the "girl" to go and put money in her parking meter. She was horrible.
When we got to my place, he carried my suitcase up my steps and I thanked him again and shook his hand. It really was a nice gesture.
So yes, then I started laundry. My relaxing afternoon went by way too fast, but luckily I have (I don't want to tempt fate by writing this) what I hope to be not too tough a week coming up.