Chabad-Lubavitch news site

Rationalist Judaism

YU Torah Online

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

All Victories: The awkward immigrant

All Victories: The awkward immigrant: "but I was too flustered trying to express myself in Hebrew to argue further. I took the apples out of my tote so he could weigh them again.

And then, overwhelmed with frustration and shame and, honestly, no small measure of hormones, I burst into tears.

And that was the worst part, because as embarrassing as it is to burst into tears in American society (I speak from experience), it’s even worse here. Getting emotionally involved in a commercial transaction just seems like the most ridiculously American thing to do. The Israeli way is to get all fired up and insist on one’s rights, and then move on. Crying? Ugh.

But I was crying, and so the vendor said, “No, no, you don’t have to cry. It’s fine. Never mind.”

But I didn’t want to win the argument because I was crying. I was right!

“I’m sure, I’m totally sure,” I said through sniffle-gasps. I opened my wallet ridiculously and pulled out coins. “You gave me this, and this.” As though that proved something. I wanted the floor of the market to swallow me, but instead I gathered my fruit and stamped through the market, sobbing quietly like a champion."

'via Blog this'