I stopped at the local liquor mart for a bottle of Pinot Grigio to replenish my white sangria, which Doug and I have been enjoying greatly. Peter, the proprietor had a special guest in the shop, a gent named Neil who happens to be a native of India. He runs the Kwik-E-Mart two doors down and comes to hang out when he is bored. Locks the door and leaves a note saying where he can be found, come get him...
Neil was talking about cricket and Peter asked me jokingly if I liked cricket.
Why, yes I do.
Neil was surprised. A white American woman who knew about and liked cricket? We also talked about what local Indian food was the best. I said that Bollywood Grille in North Andover was best and Neil was completely thrilled. He agreed completely, saying that it costs a little more than the other local places in Newburyport.
So not only do I like cricket, I like Indian food. I asked him where he was from in India, was he from the north near Pakistan, the coast near Goa? Mumbai? Kolkata? He was impressed at my knowledge of his country's geography. He's from western India, for the record.
He said he wants to take me to a cricket match and out to dinner. Someone came in to ask him to open up the store so he had to leave abruptly. and as Neil left I said "Hey, Namaste my brother. Namaste." Again, he was utterly blown away that I knew a word in his language. Beaming with a huge smile, Neil went back to the store.
Peter thought this was a riot. We talked a little while longer about cricket (I confessed that I first learned about cricket in a Monty Python episode, which made him laugh even harder). He thanked me for making Neil's day.
I told Peter that most of my knowledge of India came from people like Michael Palin and his lovely BBC travel documentaries. Peter said that it was good that I was actually paying attention to what was going on anywhere outside of my zipcode. We had a lovely talk, and he asked how the white sangria was going (wonderfully, I must say). I gave him the recipe and he said he'd give it a whirl.
I left the shop with a smile, and drove away seeing Neil waving goodbye to me in my rear view mirror.