Jalen Strix (jalenstrix) wrote,
Jalen Strix

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...in the form of an exceedingly nice man from El Salvador.

Scenario: I pull up to the 24-hour do-it-yourself carwash in College Park in my poor, bird-shat-upon car. There's a man in front of me washing his car. He takes his time and does a very thorough job. He occasioanlly glances back at me and motions as if to say, "Sorry I'm taking so long." I smile and nod (Hey, who am I to argue with someone doing a thorough job?), and he eventually finishes and pulls out. So I pull in, and notice that there are three minutes of wash-time still left. Yay, three free minutes! What a nice guy, I think.

Cue the random chivalry. The guy then comes over and asks if he can help me wash my car. I shrug, somewhat bemused, and say, "Sure....if you want. Thanks!" He proceeds to do a really thorough job. I haven't the heart or gall to tell him that I only paid for three more minutes beyond the three he left me (because I had planned to just get the bird shit off and get out of there). He was doing such a fabulous job, he seemed to really be enjoying it....who was I to whiffle about a few dollars? So I kept putting money in so he wouldn't run out of minutes before he was finished. But we ran out of minutes anyway, and I had no more money. He promptly pulls out a $20 and pays for the rest of the time that he spends washing my car. Meanwhile, I discover he's from El Salvador and proceed to blather poorly in Spanish. He is surprised and pleased, and banters back.

I am, of course, bowled over by his car-washing chivalry. I keep thanking him and bantering with him, and he then asks if I would mind if he dried my car. By this point, my bemusement has reached the saturation point, so I simply say, "Wow!" again, and "Sure, thanks!". I pull my car around to the front of the car wash. He dries, we banter in Spanish and English.

He finishes drying my car. We continue to banter in Spanish and English about people's attitudes towards computers, religions, learning foreign languages, and many other things. This goes on for an hour or more. This is long after he has discovered I have a boyfriend. He's constantly complimenting me on my Spanish. I try to think of useful things to say about learning English, since he's been trying to do it for 6 years without much success.

He asks if he can give me his phone number so that I'll call him and have him come wash my car again. And banter with him in Spanish and English. I wibble. I mean, I don't really know him but he did just demonstrate extreme chivalry, and my impression of him is not someone who's out for booty. The fact that he doesn't ask me for my phone number gets him mega-points - he's really leaving it up to me to decide if I want to contact him.

Normally, I would never call someone in such circumstances. But I'm highly tempted to do so in this case simply because he was so Bavarian in his actions and it was incredible amounts of fun to speak to him in Spanish. But really, it's more about rewarding that kind of random chivalry.

Does this sort of thing happen a lot? This is twice now in recent times that people from other countries have been unexpectedly and exceedingly kind to me. Yay, other countries.

Tags: happy things, linguistics

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