Thursday, November 09, 2006

Coffee and Donuts

The meeting ended early.

I had booked an hour, and was done in less than ten minutes. I'm an 'idea man,' and sometimes the ideas are just lying there waiting to be used. This was one of those times.

I had a lot to get done today. I needed to get back to work, but figured I could make a quick stop to celebrate.

The donut shop was warm, and crowded. At one table, a man was sipping coffee and reading the sports section.

Two older men were at the next table over. They were discussing the elections. I heard words like 'Pelosi,' and 'Clinton,' and 'Bush.'

A young couple and an older man were in front of me. They were together. From the way they were acting, I'd guess it was a boyfriend and girlfriend, and the boyfriend's father. Pastries and coffees were being parcelled out, and some cold, pink, frothy drink with whipped cream was handed over--to the father.

Behind the counter were three people. A guy in shorts was dealing with the money part of the transaction, another man was making the drink no father of mine would ever order, one woman was working the drive-through window, and another got my attention, and took my order--large decaf and a strawberry frosted donut. No cream, no sugar. I like coffee-flavored coffee.

I left, holding the door open for two paramedics on break, and stepped around a couple of cab drivers who were drinking their coffee, smoking, talking and basking in the sun of a pleasant November morning.

A typical American day.

So why did I write about it?

The sports fan was Asian. The two older men were wearing traditional Afghan clothes. The words I mentioned were the only ones I could understand.

The girlfriend in front of me was hispanic, as was the guy serving them. The talked in a patois of Spanish and English. The boyfriend and his father were black, as was the maker of the foofy drink.

The two women behind the counter were Indian. I could tell by her bindi that the one who served me was married.

The paramedics? Black man, white woman. And the cabbies looked and sounded Sudanese.

A typical American day.

I love this country.



Blogger Colleen said...

yep, sometimes you just gotta smile at days like those. unfortunately, most places in atlanta aren't like that. consider yourself lucky.

i've been meaning to ask...what happened to your poly blog?

oh, and we prefer spanglish.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I love this blog!

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scenes like this are one of the reasons i love living where i do.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

And donuts. They're worth loving, too.

I had an analagous moment while watching the local news anchor. It occurred to me that he, like most people in California, had a completely indiscernible race. I'm not recommending the melting pot philosophy, but it is kind of interesting when cultural identity is more a matter of what one chooses to indicate rather than the color of his skin.

9:43 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

And that's a reason to stay!

12:39 PM  
Blogger mal said...

oddly, I think that was Madisons genius, to see the inherent stability of so much diversity. It serves us well

11:21 PM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Balloon Pirate! That’s what’s so nice about the US: there is room for everybody! Most of my US experience comes from CA and it taught me so much about diversity. Not like my native country Sweden, where most of us look pretty much the same and all watched the same children’s TV shows growing up (=the same frames of references). The positive thing with living in a country where everybody is “the same” is that rules are easy to follow because they seldom change… (is that good or bad?!)

You are such a good person!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Pablo said...

A lot of people would have a fit where I come from. It's good to read your perception of the experience.

3:37 PM  
Blogger elaine said...

So much of what we 'see' and 'hear' over here is not about this america; the 'other america' as a dear friend of mine calls it.

Stories like this - or recountings as they are not fables - allow outsiders like me to see that in someplaces in your country lies hope.

(And I am celebrating along with you the election results...)

5:24 PM  

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