Thursday, September 08, 2005

Talking To The Dollar Store Lady

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, where you had no idea as to what they were talking about? By this, I don't mean something like another person addressing a topic that was way over your head, for instance, but a conversation in which you had no real grasp of any meaning or direction, nor even any sort of hint as to where they were coming from, or perhaps going to?

Today I went into the neighborhood dollar store during a bike ride, to pick up a few necessities for the home. I gathered my items, and took them up to the front, where the nice, small Vietnamese lady, began to engage me in a conversation as she checked my items out. It seems that she is becoming less shy about her use of English, and more willing now to speak at some length about the various things that interest her. The only problem is, that I rarely have even the slightest sense of what in the world it is that she is talking about. I usually just knod my head, maybe grunt an approval, or lean back in laughter as I join in with her amusement at the funny story (which I never have any idea as to the content of), and on and on. We laugh, we gossip, we express our fears, our hopes, and our dreams (I think), and it is only she who has any idea of what's going on, as I sure in the hell don't. Today, I caught only, "tired", "8pm to 10pm", "get home", and "hot", all accompanied by a big smile, and a lot of hand waving, as she went into great detail about the tired, hot, home, 8pm to 10pm theme (I was in there around noon today). I did ask her if she maybe saw a movie last night, thinking about the 8pm to 10pm, which perhaps made her tired? But, she just kind of waved off my inquiry; she was way too involved now to stop and answer mere questions, as she continued on and on, and on, providing an extensive description of God only knows what.

I left with my items, giving another grunt of approval, a hearty laugh with a lean back of the head, maybe a "that's right!" (generic enough to always work in these sorts of situations), and a vigorous wave with a "see you next time!" salutation. She seemed happy, content, perhaps even a little proud of her increased abilities in the English language. I too, was happy and content, but maybe just a little bit more confused than I had been only 15 minutes earlier.

I just wonder what we'll talk about the next time. I mean, I really wonder.


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