Monday, November 9, 2009

Amigo

Every Monday that there is an English Premier League match up. ESPN 2 airs the game live at 2:55 EDT. This has become somewhat of a ritual for me during my exciting period of unemployment. Roll out of bed around 12:30, so I don't have to deal with the kids my roommate Patti babysits. Don't get me wrong I love kids (not in a Michael Jackson way), but the one girl that Patti babysits for makes Macaulay Culkin in Uncle Buck seem like a mute. She asks more ridiculous and repetitive questions than I knew possible, but anyway I digress. From 12:30 on I watch Sports Center, and catch up on emails from the weekend. About a half an hour before game time, I decide on what my meal for the afternoon will be. Today, I decided on a regular slice and buffalo chicken slice from Miceli's. I love Gino's buffalo chicken slices, but Miceli's buffalo chicken is very underrated, especially for people who like more spice and less bleu cheese. This is where my story unfolds. I ordered my slices just like any other day; I paid, received my food, and began the trek back to my car. As I was leaving I saw a portly hispanic man walking in. I stepped aside to let him in, but at that same time he motioned for me to go through. I acquiesced to his polite offering and thanked him in kind. That is when he said it; "Ok amigo." I always enjoy when people are polite, but this was something more. I thought to myself "Dave, why was this more than just a polite exchange?" Then I understood, it wasn't just this man smiling and responding, but that he recognized me crossculturally. He could have just said something like "No problem," but he thought it prudent to speak to me in his native tongue. It was as if I acted as an ambassador to the people of some hispanic nation, and this man accepted my olive branch and exchanged one to me in kind. Now looking back on the experience I just wish I could have shared some facet of my culture with this man, such as buying him a pint, or perhaps politely tapping his backside with a hockey stick (a Lithuanian tradition that bears the equivalence of the American hug). If only all exchanges between cultures could be handled in such as way.

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