bonding moments

It’s been Yesterday was a good day… and I still ain’t done my homework yet especially before I got my homework done. A couple nice opportunities for some light bonding with complete to up-till-now strangers.

At the grocery store I got to talk with the cashier a bit about world cup. Naturally, since the standard assumption is that most Americans don’t care much about the cup, it took a few extra steps to get into the subject.

“I’m gonna go home, watch the game.”
“Which game?”
“Oh, the world cup.”
“Yeah, but which game?”
“Oh… Ivory Coast and Argentina.”

From there we got into talking about yesterday’s games, how the Poland – Ecuador game was better than either of us expected, she was pretty plain about saying that the Germany – Costa Rica game wasn’t very good. (It had a bit of a one sidedness problem, but since I had no idea what teams she’s rooting for, I went with a more diplomatic mention of holes in the German defense, but that they kept control of the ball very well.)

About that time, it was time for the next person in line, the bagger was giggling kindly, either wondering why I was talking to people or jazzed to see a white guy want to talk about world cup.

Fun moment, regardless of what anybody thought. Almost made up for the fact that although I remembered to replace the rapidly disappearing butter, I forgot to pick up the laundry detergent that was a large part of why I’d stopped in to start with.

Another nice moment when I got home. I drive in and there’s a huge mess in the parquedero. Somebody’s garbage is all over our section of the parking lot. I was irritated, as was the woman that arrived while I was wrangling groceries. We were both disgusted, but I was focusing on getting my things inside. She was taking her dog in, but swore she’d come back and search for mail in the mess, because this has to stop. (It’s happened a time or two before.)

On her way in, she talked to one of the guys that lives on the end of the row, pointed it out to him. Shared her disgust with him like she had with me.

So this guy, even though he didn’t see it happen and had just been minding his own business, trying to enjoy the weather in the yard, he goes to his house, grabs a trash bag, and starts pickin’ things up.

Now this stuff’s gross. There’s plates with uneaten food, there’s diapers, there’s spoiled dairy stuff, and all sitting just right so you have to touch the nasty parts of it (except the diapers thankfully). So, I see him cleaning up the porquería and remember it’s my neighborhood too, and why should he have to pick up all this crap by himself.

So we picked up the trash together, found no clue as to who made the mess, talked a little about how good the neighborhood’s been up till now, even though most of us don’t really know each other. And for the first time in ages, I’ve got a neighbor that I’ve actually shared more than the occasional “what’s up” with. Maybe I’ll get to understanding this being neighborly thing someday after all.


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