The other day, waiting to cross the road at the main gate of the university, we hear a voice behind. “Do you know where I can find turmeric?” I turn around, and there is this man in a green mask pulled halfway across his face. “Turmeric?” I ask. “Maybe you can try asking at any of the Indian restaurants.” “Yeah, that’s how we used to buy before,” chirps in Birdy.
The signal changes to green. Green mask walks along with us. “Ah! We have some turmeric,” I remember suddenly. “Oh, you do?” green mask is interested. As we walk past the university gates, green mask reveals his name, Rafael. Originally from Mexico, he and his wife have decided to teach and learn at the same time. We part with us promising to give him the turmeric, which Rafael uses for cooking some Indo-Mexican dish. Strangely, he looked just the same as Karen, a good friend of mine in Texas.
It’s only here I muse to myself that one can ask a total stranger if they have turmeric. And it’s only here that you don’t think twice before responding.