Recently I’ve been particularly enjoying living in a small town. Many of the shopkeepers and bartenders know me, most not by name, and even some not by nationality, but they all say hello and some of the bartenders will even start preparing my drink when they see me enter.
Several years ago, when we first moved here, I noticed that when I wore my glasses, which I mainly only use for driving, things were a little bit more blurry than they had been previously. My prescription was changing. So I went to the local optometrist shop and explained the situation. She sat me down in the chair and swung that big apparatus in front of me and we went about determining my perfect prescription with me reading letters off a faraway screen. She agreed that my prescription had changed slightly, but counseled me that, for such a small change, it wasn’t worth me buying new frames and lenses until my eyesight changed some more. I said thank you and goodbye and walked out of the store, astonished that someone would talk a customer out of a sale like that. In the years that followed we have purchased sunglasses from that optometrist for my wife, my daughter, and myself, a several hundred euro reward for the optometrist being such an honest, helpful person.
A couple weeks ago, one of Marga’s rings found its way onto our bedroom floor, and got stepped on in the dark by my luckily slippered foot, bending it considerably. I took it to the local jeweler, from whom we bought our wedding rings. We also know the woman there because she has a daughter two months younger than ours and was in our birthing classes. They took the ring, said the “rounding” procedure would cost about 10€ and a week to fix, since they had to send it off to their workshop. A week later I went back and the ring was round again. I asked how much it cost, and they said, “Nah, forget about it.”
Today I was out walking my daughter around town. As I walked, I was wondering when the package I was expecting would be arriving. When we were clear on the opposite side of town, we walked by a postal van, and a postal worker walked up to me and said, “Hey, don’t you live at [my-address-redacted]?” “Um, yeah.” “I’ve got a package for you, but it’s heavy. I’ve got a few more things to deliver, and I see that you’re out for a walk. How about I deliver it to you in thirty minutes? Can you be there?” I agreed, went to the grocery store and then home to wait for my package, which arrived right on time.