Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sign Language

After swimming at the Y today, I shared the shower room with a small Chinese lady. We never spoke a word (but obeyed the locker room protocol of not staring; only casually glancing when grabbing shampoo or turning to rinse).

She might have decided I was tall. I thought her feet were small.

Later, while we dressed, she wandered back by the sink, stopping by the paper towel dispenser, softly touching the sides and front. Not wanting to move in too fast, I waited a moment and then walked over and waved a hand beneath the machine. She smiled as towels rolled out.

A few minutes later, dressed, she walked out. I watched her disappear down the hall.

Before I went back to pulling my shirt over my head, she appeared again. She smiled at me. And gave a little bow. I don’t know why, but I bowed back.



Pig Woman said...

Yea! Finally.

I know just how that Asian lady felt. I wish we had a similar way to honor people who save us from feeling dumber than dirt.

linda carter said...

Beautiful. Love and respect on display without words.

Craig and Bethany said...

Totally, I love it. Best part of my day. It reminds me of when I worked a banquet at the Ridpath in high school. It was for a room full of Japanese or Chinese people who barely spoke English. Every time I got confused I'd start speaking to them in Spanish. They didn't really notice too much but just kept on smiling and smiling.