Random Conversation

“Excuse me…”


“Are you waiting for the bus to New York?”

“Yes I am.”

“Does it show up at 7:45 and reach Port Authority by five of nine?”

“Well no, we’ll probably be there by 9:15.”

“I just want someone to be honest with me! The lady at the Lakeland Bus office said I’d be in the city by five of nine!”

“Well, they say that but there’s always rush hour traffic at this time, so it’s possible we could get a little delayed.”

“Ok, but they shouldn’t say what they don’t mean! Anyway, would you mind if I stayed with you?”

“Not at all.”

“I just had to do it today, I’ve been postponing this all along but they should be able to do something for me.”

“What’s the problem?”

“Well it’s my knees. They’ve operated upon it so many times…it doesn’t help. Nothing works. And the doctor here tells me he can’t do a thing. So I called up the surgeon who did the original surgery. You see… he was nice to me on the phone and asked me to come on over. He said he would take a look. I am going to show him my x-ray. I am sure my knee-cap is broken in a thousand places even though the doctor here says it looks fine.”

“So what time is your appointment with him?”


“Ok. You’ll get there in time.”

“Yes, I think so. May I sit with you on the bus? Will you tell me where to go once we get off?”

“Sure. No problem.”

“May I ask you a question?”


“Are you from India?”

“Yes I am.”

“I thought so. There are these other Indian people I know. Nice man. He came to the Quik Chek with his daughter to get some coffee. He was Hindu, not that it matters. Are you Hindu too?”

“Yes I am.”

“I liked him. Even though it was a little hard for me to understand him. I do have a little trouble hearing. Then there was this other Indian girl – Aruna. She was my neighbor. I couldn’t understand her when she talked. I even told her – ‘I am slightly deaf, can you repeat yourself?’ But no, she had her nose in the air. She told me – “I don’t like to speak too loud!’ So she lost my friendship. But most Indians I meet I like.”

“Can I just stay with you until I leave the bus terminal?”

“Yes, sure. So who’s the doctor you’re going to see in the city?”

“Do you watch TV?


“Did you watch the US Open?”

“No I didn’t.”

“You know what the US Open is, right?”

“Yes, of course!”

“Well, my doctor was on it! He is the surgeon who was on call for the players. They kept showing him on TV. He’s good. My rabbi recommended him to me. You do know what a rabbi is, right?”

“Yes I do know what a rabbi is. The doctor sounds good, I am sure he’ll be able to help you.”

“Pardon me, what did you say?”

“I said yes I do know what a rabbi is and that your doctor sounded good. I am sure he can help you.”

“Oh yes, he says he can. Someone has to. I have just had it. I can barely move. I can’t tell you how I am taking myself to NYC today. I’ve been up since 3 AM thinking about this. I kept watching TV all night even though I can’t hear. I just have the captions on.”

“How did it happen in the first place?”

“How did what happen?”

“Oh your knee injury.”

“My what?”


“Oh, wow, you’re loud. I am just a little deaf. Well, the first time it happened I was 26 and my hip popped. I can’t tell you how many times my hip has popped since then. I was swimming the other day and it popped again. I couldn’t move. I was just hanging by the side of the pool. Then this maintenance guy came along. I told him – my hip has popped – I can’t move. He wanted to call the ambulance but I said no. Can’t deal with ambulances. So he asked me what I planned to do. I thought he could help me get out of the pool but he didn’t want to. Don’t know what he thought would happen, I just kept hanging there, couldn’t move this way or that and the guy kept looking at his watch. But I can’t help it. My hip just pops. He just kept asking if he could get the ambulance for me. I finally let him get me the ambulance seeing how I wasn’t going to get out of the pool otherwise. I keep falling. I just topple over backwards. Are there too many escalators to take in Port Authority?”

“Yes, quite a few.”

“You’ll be with me, right?”


“My daughter told me not to talk to anyone on my way to the city. But you look all right. I think I can talk to you. She said not to say a word. She told me not to get in an elevator full of people, especially one with another man. She also told me not to sit on the bus with another man. She said not to talk, not to tell anyone where I lived, where I was going or tell them how much money I have on me. Now why would I tell anyone that? Although I do want to talk to someone about pulling out all my investments from Smith Barney and putting it somewhere else. That place was my rabbi’s suggestion and they just don’t want to touch my money. It just sits there, they don’t invest it in anything!”

“Really? She said not to be in an elevator or a bus next to a man?”

“Yes. But you know, she’s young and pretty. Maybe this is what she has found works best for her. Can I sit with you?”


“Let me show you the list of things she told me not to do…oops! I think I left the list at home. I’m telling you, it is about yay long…it has all kinds of instructions for me. Oh well, doesn’t look like I have it though!”

“What does you daughter do?”

“Oh she just got arrested for disorderly conduct. She was stopping the condo people from building on green acres. They said it was green acres. They lied. They started building there. She told them to stop and the mayor got her arrested. The old mayor was a friend of mine, this one doesn’t like me. I told my daughter to move to California. She lives there now. My son lives with me.”

“What does your son do?”

“He’s had a tough life. He’s 38. Things never really worked out for him. Now he is going to school to become a medical technician. I really think he needs to find someone to marry. I can’t sleep all night. I keep watching the Animal Planet. It was so sad what happened to my friend Steve Irwin. I loved him.”

“Yes it is quite sad.”

“The stingray got him, it didn’t even mean to. You know him right? You know what stingrays are?”

“Yes it was very sad. Yes I do know what stingrays are.”

“What did you say?”

“I said I do know what stingrays are.”

“I am sorry. I told you I was a little deaf. I am thinking of getting a CI.”

“Ah a cochlear implant!”

“Yes! I was going to ask if you knew what CI was! You seem very knowledgeable. You don’t even have much of an accent.”

“Thanks. Looks like the bus is on schedule. You’ll get there just in time.”

“Oh! Will you please help me down the stairs? I am sorry but you don’t know how many times I have fallen.”

“Sure. I’ll take you downstairs.”

“Indians are really nice people. Thank you so much.”


  1. Could you repeat that a little loudly please!!!!A most interesting conversation!Indians are nice people?????

  2. Hey Pragya,this good. I had the impression I was there with you. So real!Hope the block has lifted. Do visit my blog and write a comment. J

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