Saturday, February 20, 2010
i like abe
So do most of us.
But no one would confuse me with him. After all, there is the height thing -- and all that facial hair.
Almost everyone's favorite story is the probably apocryphal tale of how he got his nickname "Honest Abe."
You know the story. While working in a general store, he short changed a customer. Realizing his mistake he walked a total of 6 miles to return 6 1/4 cents.
On Wednesday, I was in a rush to get ready for my afternoon flight. One easy task was to pick up two items at the grocery store. The walk was easy -- about a quarter mile. The store always reminds me of the grocery stores of my youth -- lightly stocked, a bit untidy.
I gathered up my purchases and took them to the cashier -- a fellow I did not recall seeing before. I reached for my wallet. Nothing. I had left it on the bed.
No problema. I would pay in coin. Of course, I had just given the laundress all of my change.
The total was $26 (Mx). I had $21 in change.
I offered to put one item back the usual NOB solution.
He said: Pay me later. Well, he said it in Spanish.
I walked home and walked back immediately with the pesos. He was a bit surprised at my sudden return. And he would not accept an additional $5 (Mx) for his trouble.
My story does not even come close to our Honest Abe scriptural text. But it illustrates my Mexican neighbors have relationships based on trust and honesty.
I am not naive. I know the traits are not universal in Mexico -- nor even in Melaque. My fellow bloggers have told tales of horrendous customer service.
But the trust factor is one reason I like Melaque. It reminds me of how people treated one another when I was growing up in the small towns of southern Oregon.
A very good reason why I like Melaque as well as I like Abe.