August 01, 2005

A sick Israeli at my shop

Today was a national holiday in Iceland. Pretty much everything was closed. I was working, because the shop where I work is a tourist shop, but almost everything else was closed.
I didn't really have a good day today. It was very busy, lots of unpleasant incidents, and I'm basically getting more and more tired of the tourists with all their problems and attitudes (although many of them are really nice, and I like all the British ones). But okay enough whining! So eventhough I'm a very hard worker, and definitely a perfectionist, I suppose I am beginning to become less enthusiastic about solving the many problems of my darling tourists (although I still do it, constantly).
But this morning a rather bizarre incident occurred.
It was about 45 minutes after I opened the shop, so it was one of the few places in Reykjavik that was open. A middle aged couple entered the shop. The man looked quite troubled. He was sweaty and breathing heavily. I didn't think much of it at the time, I thought that he had just been walking fast (he was quite overweight). They approached me and asked me where they could find a pharmacy that is open. (*most tourists aren't willing to go anywhere that is far from the center of the city). So I casually told them that since it's a holiday, pharmacies are closed. The man seemed to become very desperate, and asked me "so what are people supposed to do if they need medicine?". I asked him what he needed, and he said he needed medicine.
Then he and his wife began speaking to each other in Hebrew in front of me. Like magic, I turned into the world's most helpful store worker. I told them there was a pharmacy that is open, how to get there, where to get a taxi, the number of a taxi in case there was none at the closest station, where to find a payphone, where to find an emergency medical center, etc etc. I wrote everything down on post-its for them. The man, who was clearly feeling ill and desperate, thanked me again and again, and they rushed off.

I should turn into this super-helpful-lovely person for everybody. Well, it's not like I wouldn't have told a sick German or Taiwanese person about the open pharmacy, of course I would have. But because it's the right thing to do. Not because I would have enjoyed helping them. Maybe I'm just a bad person.

Posted by Maria at August 1, 2005 11:30 PM | TrackBacks
Comments & Trackbacks

Yes, you ARE a bad person! :-p
Besides, I am really disappointed that at this point you still don't recognize Israelis!

Posted by: Orly at August 2, 2005 10:19 AM Permalink

Hey I'm not a bad person! I'm merely HUMAN, and I don't deny it. But maybe I should :)

As for recognising Israelis, I often do. Usually, even. But it's impossible to always know an Israeli when you see one. I mean sure there is an Israeli "look", but only a percentage has this look. The sick Israeli for instance had grey hair and blue eyes, and his wife was a light skinned blond. Many Israelis look very much like latinos, and vice versa..

Posted by: Maria at August 2, 2005 04:59 PM Permalink

I was thinking more of the accent.

Posted by: Orly at August 3, 2005 09:43 AM Permalink

Oh I recognise the Israeli accent easily.(I also do really good impressions). But he didn't speak with an Israeli accent. Maybe he studied abroad or something :p

Posted by: Maria at August 3, 2005 09:48 AM Permalink

Let's face it, honey, you're just a philo-semite and there ain't no cure for the Jewish-lovin' blues. ;)

Posted by: Lisa at August 5, 2005 01:47 PM Permalink

I definitely wouldn't have helped the sick German or Hungarian or Ukrainian or Croatian. Fuck'em!

Posted by: Torbjorn Karfunkel at August 7, 2005 08:34 PM Permalink

Hah! But don't be silly, of course you would have. And today I helped a sick Frenchman :p

Posted by: Maria at August 7, 2005 10:20 PM Permalink

But I noticed that it didn't give me any pleasure :/

Posted by: Maria at August 7, 2005 10:21 PM Permalink