Saturday, June 21, 2003

Shopping: Serbian Style

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I promised myself I would stop by The North American Distribution Centre which is located inside The 747 Travel Agency.

Yes, I admit to a weakness for YU movies, no matter how cheesy.

Now, I know that the name "North Amercian Distribution Centre" makes it sound like it's some huge warehouse full of stuff that needs to be distributed.

In fact, it's a Travel Agency with a little place, in fact, a tiny little corner dedicated to Serbian Music and Videos (I didn't see any DVDs).

So, it's about 6:10pm and I park right in front of 747 . The door is wide open and I walk in.
One of the things I absolutely love about this city, is that I can walk into any ethnic store or restaurant, and whoever approaches me will greet me in that language.
It doesn't matter, Serbian, Italian, Portuguese, Greek....ok...
not all, but many.
I really love that about this city.

I go directly to the little corner and look through the stuff, I pick out 2 movies and ask the older gentleman (who appears to be at least 7 feet tall) to recommend a couple of movies for my mother.
He picks out 2.
One is a comedy and the other is a historical saga type thing.
When he tallies everything up, it appears that I am about 20 bucks short in cash.
I ask about debit:
However, I guessed that from the circa 1965 cash register on the counter.

"Cheque" he says.
"Cheque?" I ask.
"Ma,...Cheeeeeque" he says as if I'm the one that's behind the times.

I write a cheque, and start fumbling through my wallet for my ID.
It's been years since I've written a cheque in a store.

"Vat?" asks he, with brows furrowed and a quick little chin up gesture.
The univeral Mediterranean/Slav gesture for "what the fuck are you doing?"

Me: "My Drivers License, for ID"

Him: "No ID. Our peepl don cheat each odder".


Him (in very polite formal Serbian): "Van da future...I close at da 6 o'clock"

Me: "Oh, the door was open"

Him: "Yes...bat I vas close"

Could have fooled me.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Handicapped? In What Way?

Wow! How eventful can a week be?
This morning I went to Costco to pick up a few things and while I was loading my car, another car pulled up behind me and appeared to be waiting for my parking space. Seeing that the parking lot was full, I hurried to load my car and when I had finished I proceeded to take the cart back when the man in the car honked. I assumed that he wanted my cart.
Well, actually, he didn't want my cart or my space.
He wanted the handicapped spot next to mine.
He didn't roll down his window to let me know or honk prior to this point.
He didn't even try to get my attention by gesticulating in any way or form.
When I realized that he wanted the spot next to mine, I felt like an ass.
I waited for him to get out of his car and then, I immediately started to apologize profusely.
He cut me off by yelling obscenities.
He called me an F'ing bitch, F'ing blind, F'ing selfish and and so on.
Well, this really shocked me and for a moment I stood in stunned silence and just watched him.
However when he got to F'ing C***t, I blew a gasket.
I started yelling at him in the parking lot, not swearing at him..but asking him why he didn't make his need known to me (he replied to this by telling me that I was a blind F'ing bitch if I couldn't see the sticker on his car).
I can't remember everything that I said, except for:
"Do you think that because you have a handicapped sticker on your car, you can just treat people like shit?"
I asked him if he thought that the entire planet revolved around him because he had a minor handicap.
I really did lose it.
When I calmed down, I realized that I just had a fight with a handicapped person!
Ok, no...not really.
The only thing that was handicapped about him was his ability to treat people with courtesy.
It made me think of this entry over at Cicada.