kindness of strangers

four years ago today

four years ago today
Written by Cathoel Jorss,

Walked into a Turkish convenience store late on Friday night, they sold water pipes as well as a dazzling array of alcohols and sundry sweet snackettes… behind the counter stood a very untall & wizened woman wearing a scarf, her hands on the counter at chest height in front of her, and beside her a large, slightly slavering dog, standing on his back legs with his forepaws folded on the counter. I said to him, “Excuse me. Do you sell yoghurt?” She said to me, “Sie haben eine so schöne Stimme, eine richtig wunderschöne Stimme. Bitte singen Sie weiter.” But I was too self-conscious to keep singing under this barrage of compliments. We talked about the dog and his jolly helpfulness & how tidily & sweetly she kept her shop and then as I was leaving, she called after me, “Keep singing! Always keep singing!”

~ beginning of my second month in Berlin, second date. We held hands and took it in turns to walk blindfolded round the city. Later that week I wrote:

Tomorrow I am moving ~ boldly! ~ into a sublet apartment of my very own, here in Berlin! I was only here for a week but I have staid & staid ~ and so it is the last day in the sweet sunny breakfast room with its big basket of soft-boiled eggs, tucked in a cloth ~ the man who serves coffee came in to clear and I went over to him and touched him on the arm. “I’m moving out tomorrow, and I just wanted to say, thank you for the ~” ~ floundering in my early-morning German like a shallow foaming surf ~ “the service?” he suggested ~ “the um,” I said ~ “the table service?” he wanted to know. “The love,” I said, finally. And then ran away back to my table. Every morning he brings me a pot of hot water & some honey, my life in Berlin has been far cosier since I discovered that chai tea is called “yogi tea” and that you can buy it in bags at a Bio Store.

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