Saturday, March 20, 2010
My Own Piece of Latin America
Yesterday, we were driving back from the grocery store and I spotted an elderly woman walking with some difficulty through our neighborhood. I thought it was odd because we live near a bike trail so there are always many people around exercising, but not dressed in their Sunday bests. We drove by the woman and I noticed she was Latina and so I rolled down the window and asked her en Español if she need a ride. She accepted and got in the car and I drove her about a quarter of a mile to a bus stop. She told me that she worked nearby and has a leg that has been bothering her. She got out of the car and we never exchanged any other words, not our names, not anything except her thanking me over and over. I can’t tell you how often I experienced this while living in Latin America---observing, riding and offering a ride. I’ve never experienced it here though. I wonder if she would have gotten in the car if I hadn’t spoken to her en Español. I wonder if I would have offered a ride if she wasn’t a Latina. Today we were coincidentally returning home at the same time as yesterday, so I decided to look for my passenger, my pasajera, and we found her! She didn’t recognize me at first. She got in and this time, I introduced Sofía and me. I knew she hadn’t even noticed Sofía yesterday because she today she was surprised by her presence. Although she didn’t give me her name (very common not to do), she took a few minutes to appreciate the little one in the back.