As I rolled my cart down the cereal aisle in the store this afternoon a woman started speaking to me and I responded to her friendliness and expected her to continue on her way but she kept rambling and while most of what she said I did not understand, she would spout out words I did understand which were not in English, like ciao, and she proceeded to tell me that it means hello and I said I knew that and then she rattled off an assortment of words, saying the language they were from as she went and since she was correct on the words I recognized, I had no reason to doubt the rest though I could not confirm their meaning since I did not know them at all. It sounded like hip-hop or rap using a multitude of short words and then she would revert to English and she asked me how much money I thought the things in her cart would total and a look at all the processed items in the boxes I guessed $60-$70 and she said she had to take some items out (she said “minus them” ) and I told her if she took the cart to the line and asked for a subtotal as the items went through the scanner, she could tell the clerk when she’d reached her maximum and that she could say that she could not buy the rest this time. I could not guess what her nationality might have been because she looked like a mix of cultures as was her vocabulary.
Pretty soon other people needed to get past us and so I was trying to break free from this friendly but strange lady. In time she finally pushed ahead and toward the check-out area and I went on with my shopping.
Sometimes I cannot help wondering about the stray folks wandering around, but then I imagine there are people who look askance at me as well, like the man I met walking the opposite way on a path where I’ve never seen anyone else in the years I’ve walked it and when he spoke to me I said he was the first human I’d ever encountered on that trail. I did add that I’ve seen deer and wild turkeys.