Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One of us

I’m feeling a bit hazy this morning, and I was slow getting up, as last night was filled with food, conversation, and cherry-plum liquor with my landlord and his family. Now, mind you, the women weren’t drinking, but we were, and, though I’m not hungover, I can still kinna taste the brew that made me all tingly with the first shot.

But that’s the small price to pay when you’re having a good time. I have nothing to complain about, as today’s cool just like yesterday, with cloud cover remaining from the day before. People are wearing sweaters in late August. Who’da thought?

But that’s neither here nor there, as I feel I’ve gotta write about something I’ve noticed for a long time, from when Charlie and I first had our tea time interrupted by a crazy looking gentleman who lumbered up to us and yelled, “Bon appetite!” and stared at us for a while.

I don’t know his name, but he’s mentally handicapped in some way and generally goes about the day walking around and scrounging up change. It was a little awkward for Charlie and me while he stood there staring at us (Can’t imagine why.), but he was promptly led away by another kind gentleman, and we went about our business.

But I was impressed at how the community members handled it. I love this country, but folks around here sometimes have varying reactions to different people. But they clearly knew this fellow well and treated him as an equal. No fuss, no nothing. And I’ve also noticed the same behavior with other people. One day I was having lunch at a little joint by the bazaar, and this guy was sitting down having a cigarette with another gentleman across the table. This dude was just going off, rambling like crazy while the other guy just sat and nodded. It was like any other conversation, and the, um, more mentally “with it” guy didn’t bat and eye at his companion.

And there’s another man I see a lot on the buses. He takes the money from the passengers. A heavy-set guy, he does a good job and I believe is deaf. With his high-pitched shrills, he may not derive utter respect from everybody, but most people treat him well. In fact, it was this guy that made me want to write this short entry. I saw him just the other day at the bus station. He was having tea at a table with a bunch of other guys, and the smile on his face has been stuck in my mind for days. It’s just good to see happy people in general, and I’ve learned how important it is to be kind to everyone, whatever their condition.

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