Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Place Like Home

I made it home around 11:30 this morning. Checked the car in through the video machine. It's a fairly short walk back to my place -- two long blocks, but the one block is downhill. I was tired, my legs were stiff from driving and I had the big suitcase and a tote bag, and I was thinking it's sometimes harder to walk down hill than it is up hill. Out of nowhere comes a rescuer.

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.


Anonymous said...

Glad you are home. I am curious, which supermarket was your angel from? I do remember how nice all of them were from Food Emporium and Gristede's.

We have a lot of Haitian people living around here. They are so nice. One lady a few blocks down gave us a papaya tree she rooted and potted. She has about 100 papayas growing and promised to give us some when they are ready which should be soon. In Walmart, a Haitian man works in the garden dept. He is great. He has been to our house several times to do some work. He made grass grow on our front lawn by pulling out all the weeds on his hands and knees and put down seeds. He said the grass would grow. I said impossible without seeds but low and behold, grass grew! Our front lawn looks beautiful! We have a gardener every week who we pay monthly. I paid him $400. extra to grow grass. He put down seeds and soil and NO grass. So there....end of story.


Pat said...

Yes, this guy was from Food Emporium. All the delivery guys seem to be Senegalese -- just beautiful oval faces and almond shaped eyes, tall and thin.

The growing grass with no seeds reminds me of the tricks and techniques "poor" -- I don't know what word to use -- people have developed to get the job done.

When Mary and I were in college, a woman would come into our room in the dorm once a week to clean. We had throw rugs and this woman -- her name was Janie -- would take strips of wet newspaper and put them on the carpet and then sweep them up. That worked like a vacuum cleaner. The dust and bits would stick to the wet newspaper.

Anonymous said...

If you see the tall and thin one, ask him if his name is CC, If it is, tell him that Stephanie says hello. Do you know the older black woman there? We keep in touch...Satyra is her name. I love those employees, they are great! Stephanie