The woman behind the counter smiled when I walked through the door. Her face was young; her dark hair, tinged with gray.
“You ah back from Taiwan?”
I nodded. “Yes. Actually, last year I was in Hong Kong.”
“Oh? Hong Kong?” She reached for the dry-clean-only garments in my hands and began to examine them as we talked. “Did you like?”
“Yes, I did; I liked it very much,” I said. “Except it was too crowded! There were soooo many people.”
She nodded, knowingly. “Like Seoul.”
“Yes . . . Do you miss Seoul?”
“No!” Her vigor surprised me. “Too colduh! Too crowded!”
“But don’t you miss your family?” I persisted. There was something about the way she’d said that…
“Mmm,” she affirmed. “But I cahn always visit.” A twinkle came into her eyes as she moved to her computer. “Is Satuhday okay?”
“That’s fine,” I smiled. I would’ve loved to have talked more, but I could see that she was busy. Another customer had just walked through the door. “See you then. Happy New Year!”
“Happy New Yeah,” she said.
• • •
As I got into my car outside, I watched Joanne through the clear glass window. She caught my eye and waved.
No matter what she said, I could tell she liked talking about her hometown.
Living and traveling in Asia opened my eyes in ways I never could have imagined. Suddenly, I can (begin to) relate to a vast number of people who, previously, I was more or less cut off from. Suddenly, I have a glimpse into their worldview; an idea about what their homeland is like, and how different and how magical.
And it has made life . . . so much deeper. So much richer. So much more colorful.
So much more powerful.
- This Contradictory Life (jesscy.wordpress.com)
- Lesson from a Pair of Pants (jesscy.wordpress.com)
- People Are People (jesscy.wordpress.com)
- Delhi gang-rape: looking westward in disgust (gaurdian.co.uk)