Quotation of the Day

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Good Evening;
So I get off the #53 bus at Old Ct. Metro station yesterday afternoon and there is a Chinese woman looking stranded and totally perplexed asking in slightly broken English where the end of the #53 bus is at and where is the Target. People outside at the bus loop are either ignoring her, telling her this IS the end of the route and that she has to get on another bus to reach the Target, not listening to her fully as she tries to explain that someone is supposed to meet her at the Target AT the end of the #53 line. There IS a Target at the Mondawmin Station and Bus Loop/Depot so when I was passing by and she looked at me with pleading and growing alarm because one man, who seemed and looked a little sketchy was trying to pull her towards the #53 which was about to pull off and asking her if she had any money for a cab, while 2 others were trying to get her to get in their car and they would 'hack' her where she wanted to go. She was starting to look very scared and to me all three of the 'brothers' who were trying to "help" her were obviously working some kind of hustle, I'm not saying they intended any physical harm, but their insistence and 'hard sell' tactics presaged some sort of monetary scam at the least. As I walked past I held up my #53 schedule and she latched onto my arm and tried again to ask for help way to fast and kept tripping herself up over her words. I got her to slow down and showed her where she messed up and got on the bus going the wrong way, and that there WAS a Target where the #53 terminated at Mondawmin, and that she did not have to get back on the bus as the Metro Subway also had a stop there, and would be a 15 minute ride with only 5 stops, rather than a 45 minute or more ride with dozens of stops. When she found out I was also getting on the train in the same direction she tightened her hold on my arm until I thought the circulation was cutting off. When I smiled told her and showed her the red and white marks her fingers left, she laughed in an embarrassed way and started to apologize, but I just laughed with her and she linked her arm in mine and kept thanking me. When we were through the turnstiles and down on the platform waiting for the train we had a chance to talk and she said she had just gotten to Baltimore recently and was attending Johns Hopkins grad. school on a scholarship grant from China at the medical campus. When I put my foot up on the bench to tighten my bootlaces she saw the tattoo on my right calf and reached down and traced it with her finger and asked me if I knew what it meant. After the quiver that ran up my leg and through my spine, and the chill that went through me subsided,
I told her it was Japanese for "HOPE", and she told me it was Chinese for "HOPE" also..."xi wang", (technically 'to hope', the verb form).
She looked me in the eyes and traced it again, smiling as the quiver and chill went through me again like an electric current.
The train pulled up then and as we sat down she told me it was karma that had me getting off the bus right at that time when she needed someone to trust, and proceeded to curl both legs up under her the way that women do and closed her eyes saying wake her when we got to her stop,...........and fell asleep with a smile on her lips.
Well, when we were nearing Mondawmin I gently stroked her cheek and woke her up. She sat up with a smile, stretched and gathered her bags and stood up. She then leaned over and kissed my cheek, smiled and said "Karma....it is a circle", and then said some thing in Chinese, which sounded like some sort of blessing from the formal delivery she gave it, and then the only words I understood, which was/were 'xie xie' or 'shi shi', which I am 99 44/100 % sure is 'Thank You'.
Then she walked through the open door, waved as the train pulled off back into the tunnel, and the last I saw of her was her back as she walked on the escalator.
I never even got around to asking her name! ;-)
Well even with my back spasming like Steve O. jabbing himself with a Taser, this encounter put a very mellow spin on my day.

Time to pack up, it's closing time.
Today's update from the shed when I get there.


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