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Late Night Foreigners

I know this may seem odd to say, but I really love seeing a foreigner working someplace I was to go at 1:30 in the morning. When it’s that late, nothing is better than hearing an alien accent as they cheerfully greet you coming through the door. Most of them are so goddamn happy just to be in this modern land of milk and honey that they don’t mind the graveyard shifts, so they are cheerful every time. There is not a smidgen of resentment form having to work the 11-6 shift, and if you get someone from the India/Pakistan area you are always (ALWAYS) “My friend” which I find delightful.

Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing these guys during the day too, but at night when I’m only venturing because I “have to get out of this bloody fucking house” they are the best thing in the world to see. Let them all come I say, bring the family! Set up a restaurant too, because lord knows I’m sick to death of burgers and fires. I have no idea what shawarma is, but I want some!*

Case in point.

I had a bad experience with a grocery store last night. I had a grouchy tummy and I wanted something sweet. However, the grocery store had moved EVERY LAST DAMN ITEM around and I couldn’t find the sort of sweets I wanted. I came home feeling defeated and despondent and embarrassed about being humiliated by a grocery store so I just didn’t talk about it with anyone. Later, hours later, I went out to vent my frustration in driving. So I got in the car, wasted about a gallon of gas ($4 we never see again) before thinking that maybe I still wanted something sweet.

So I drive towards the late night Dunkin’ Donuts. There would be something appropriately sweet at the DD. So I drive towards the donut shop, and my prize, feeling paranoia and strain from the afternoon coiling up in my belly. Despite these feelings, I still managed to get out of the car and walk into the store. This shouldn’t have required this much effort, but you don’t have my paranoia and anxiety brought on by a very misty night that was setting off my asthma so lets leave that be for the moment.

When I walk in and start towards the counter a man of about 50 pokes his head out and in what I judge to be an Indian accent tells me he’ll be one moment. I look at the selection, and I’m sad to say it was not as expansive as I would normally like. Less than a moment later, here he comes from the back with a greeting that comes fairly close to “Hello my friend, how can I help you?”

I tell him how I want a dozen donuts and he gets ready to roll with the box and paper slips. When I suggest he grab three glazed, he asks if I want any raspberry or chocolate, which are not on display. He aims a finger towards the back, indicating where the chocolate donuts are waiting for a loving tongue. I don’t like chocolate though, so no sale. Thinking back, I should have taken him up on the raspberry. I ask if he has any Vanilla Creme filled, and he tells me that he doesn’t and he’s sorry. No problem, I pick a few more donuts.

When my order is complete, he grabs a bag and another paper slip and tells me he’ll give me a few extra. I agree that he can do that and he nabs three éclairs and two jelly sticks. My suspicion was, and turned out to be correct, that he was giving me a fistful of day olds to make up for no Vanilla Cremes. Well, I confirmed they were day olds, his motivation is till his own. I liked the éclairs through, so that’s pretty cool. Then I embarrassed myself again by not hearing him properly when he told me the price and thought he was asking if I wanted coffee. After that, I then did it AGAIN! I tried to hand him a ten when I had almost the exact price in my other hand. Didn’t faze him, he just smiled and suggested that maybe I could give him the dollars I had in my other hand and make change easier. I allowed this and went on my merry way with my fried pastries, both fresh and day old.

It was as I pulled a day old éclair from the bag, which I did before even putting on my seat belt, that I do love the foreigners in this country. They’re so happy just to be here that it takes a hell of a lot to spoil their day. They’ve managed to get here from places that have real genuine squalor, the sort where there isn’t even running water or electricity never mind only one Xbox, so they tend to be more cheerful and accommodating to the bourgeoisie bastards that come in late at night. I always try to be pleasant to anyone in a service position anyway, but I find I want to be a little friendlier to someone who actually decided to leave the land of their birth to come here to give me some day old donuts with a smile.

You have to love anybody who can be cheerful at 1:30 in the morning. I’ve got to admire anyone not so eaten up by entitlement and resentment that they don’t look at me like something they scraped off the bottom of their shoe just because I had the temerity to enter their establishment and asked them to let me give them money. They do their jobs cheerfully as if they’re just glad to have a job, and I like that. Let them all come, let them wash over us fat, complacent white folk like a brown wave. If they bring the food they cook in those strange and far away lands, then all the better.

*Fancy’s Note: He knows damn well what shawarma is, but he’s making a point.

June 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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