I had a delightful exchange with a person in, of all places, the liquor store.

It was warm and windy, and I decided to test my land legs today, so I walked to the store.  Usually at that store I encounter Telugu people from Andhra Pradesh, so as usual I whipped out my imperfect Telugu greeting.  The lovely girl at the counter let me know she was actually Muslim.  As she said it, we both unconsciously glanced around nervously to make sure no one was there!  I said, “Oh, I’m Jewish, that’s cool!”

Then out of nowhere she spontaneously said “You’re beautiful!”  I did a double-take and protested, “Wait, what? You’re beautiful, not me!”  She insisted it was me.  We did that for a couple of seconds back and forth.  She must have seen something internal, because it sure as hell couldn’t have been my external appearance.

So then it was only right for me to whip out my few Arabic expressions, “Salaam Aleikum” and “Inshallah”.  She used the latter in a sentence for me–“Inshallah (if it be G-d’s will) you will return to the store!”, to which I concurred.

That’s the kind of unexpected interactions that happen to me sometimes, in otherwise mundane situations, and make my day.  My life never ceases to amaze me.

I almost forgot to mention, I had finally broken down and decided to get me some Johnnie Black as a belated birthday present to myself, so an all-around auspicious occurrence.  Now I will drink to it.  Whatever “cheers” is in Arabic.

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