Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's the little things ...

I went to get lunch yesterday at work but first I needed to get some money from the ATM. Unfortunately the ATM was out of money and the schnitzel stand where I was planning to eat only takes cash. Since I eat there about once a week I have a casual acquaintance with the owner and I asked him where I could find another ATM. He said the next closest one was about six minutes away. I knew where he was talking about and I also knew that it was more like ten minutes away.

He saw that I was disappointed and asked me what I wanted. The conversation, in Hebrew, went something like this:

Me: What do you mean?

Him: Come on, tell me what you want and you'll pay me tomorrow.

Me: Really, it's ok?

Him: Sure neshama, come on what do you want to eat?

I left the word neshama untranslated because it literally means soul, but it's used here as a term of casual endearment.

I'm pointing this out not because it's unique here. You only need to shop at a place a few times before you're a regular and then the owners seem willing to spot you a missing shekel here and there, always on the understanding that "you'll bring it by tomorrow."

I can't say that this never happens in the states. I can only say that this never happened to ME in the states. I guess that's all that matters.

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