Tuesday, December 13, 2011
My husband was showing an out of town friend the way to a local music story where the friend could buy strings for his guitar. We live downtown and there is always a broad variety of people on Queen Street W near Steve's Music. Some were amblers, some were shoppers, others were street people asking for money. Our friends decided to buy two sets of strings at the music store. On their way back home, my husband watched our friend, bend down to give a street person playing a guitar one set of strings. Later, he explained that he noticed some of that person's strings were missing when he heard him play as they walked on their way to the store. "It's his living", our friend said, "we should always help someone make a living".
Thursday, December 8, 2011
In September 2011, a new light rail vehicle line was innaugurated on the Jaffa Road in Jerusalem after many delays in the construction process. For that first month, it was free to one and all. We decided to board it near our hotel and travel to the end of the line in east Jerusalem. As usual, no one queued for boarding public transit. Those with the sharpest elbows got on the tram and found a seat first. Then, to my great surprise, those of us who boarded last were evaluated for our seat worthiness by those seated. Old people, pregnant women, mothers with small children, the disabled were all quickly offered the seats before the tram even started up again. It did not matter if you were obviously an Arab or a Jew or someone hard to place like a tourist, if you qualified, you were offered a seat. The seats were offered by Arabs to Jews and by Jews to Arabs. After the great push at the door, I was amazed. At every stop thereafter, the same thing happened, sharp elbows boarded first, and seats were offered to the seat-worthy before the tram started again. I love happy surprises.