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The man from Sri Lanka 

Mark and I just went to Crate and Barrel to buy some shelves for our kids' bathroom. The box for the shelves was well over six feet tall, but thin. I lobbied for having it delivered. My general rule of thumb is never to try to carry anything bigger than my husband home without professional help. Mark thought we could squeeze it into a cab. Even though it was snowing, we managed to hail a taxi. No matter how we positioned it, however, we couldn't get the box to fit inside. We were so screwed. Mark said, "what we need is a pick up truck." Yeah! Right! A pick up truck in Manhattan. Just as he said it, along came a pick up truck hauling one of those food carts, the kind that sells pretzels or falafels. Mark hailed the guy and asked him if he'd mind giving us and our box a ride to where we lived. The man said, sure, why not? Mark and the guy managed to stuff the box into the bed of the truck. Since Mark was going uptown and we live downtown, he expected me to get in this truck and let this stranger take me and the box home. I told him that under no circumstances would I get into a truck with a stranger. Just because he has a food cart doesn't mean he's not dangerous. Mark reluctantly said he'd ride with me. Sadly, my husband is not from the old school when it comes to being a gentleman. It turned out that my fears were unfounded and the guy was very nice. He was from Sri Lanka. I asked him if he knew Khanti, a former babysitter we had, who was also from Sri Lanka. But he didn't. It's a big country. It turns out, he makes wonderful vegetarian food which he sells from his cart at Washington Square Park (near 4th Street). People come from all over to eat from his cart. We plan to go there ourselves. You should too, because he's so nice and he makes everything from scratch. When we arrived at our house, he helped us out with the box and refused to take any money for driving us. Isn't that something? Never let it be said that there aren't good samaritans in New York City. I felt bad for thinking for even a minute that he could be an ax murderer. But, of course, you can't be too careful. I've watched enough episodes of Law and Order to know that girls who go off with strangers usually wind up regretting it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

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