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11 December 2010 @ 10:15 pm
small things can be the biggest  

Most Saturdays if I’m out I go to the Temple Bar Food Market and have prawn-fried noodles at the little Asian stand there (teh intarwebs tell me it is called The Sushi Hut), which is run by a rather fierce little Asian woman and her much more mellow partner-husband-thing. I’m reasonably certain they put crack in the noodles, or something, because they are ZOMG good. So at least once a month, and more often if I can, I stop by there.

Last time, the fierce Asian woman said, “Can I help y–oh, prawn noodles, I’ll give you two extra,” and did just that. Today she didn’t give me extra, but she again didn’t ask what I wanted, just made up a giant new batch of noodles and possibly charged me fifty cents less than usual.

This makes me feel like part of a community in a way that’s difficult to describe. It’s a very, very small thing, but it’s also a very large one.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: gratefulgrateful
Jeff Linderjslinder on December 11th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
There's nothing quite like being a regular at your local food venues...
(Deleted comment)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on December 11th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
That sort of thing is what makes Dublin so lovely. Back when I lived there, I used to call it the perfect capital city, because it had all the stuff like theatre and concerts and museums, but it was small enough never to be too overwhelming or confusing, I could get most places I needed on foot or on one bus, and people were much friendlier than they usually are in capitals.
tamagotamago on December 12th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Yes. Becoming a "regular" is a huge sort of comfort. It's not even about the extra prawns or the "accidental" discounts, it's the feeling of being known or heard or something.

Chris tells the story about the KitKats at the little convenience store at Caltech. He used to order the same thing whenever he went in: a particular sandwich, a drink and a KitKat. One day there were no KitKats, so he just got the sandwich and the drink. The guy on the register rang him up, told him the total, did a double take, comparing Chris' face to the total on the screen before saying, "Oh, yeah. We're out of KitKats."
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on December 12th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
I miss being a regular at Satsuma and Kyoto Palace. :)

I will say, for all the crappy downsides of my current job, one of the upsides is that I've met and built a relationship with a lot of the regulars who come into the store. There are people that I see every day and chat with about their families and lives. There's several people whose lotto orders I know and they don't have to ask anymore.

What's especially nice, actually, is when I run into these people (most of them are of the elderly persuasion) someplace outside of the store because they are just as friendly and eager to chat then as they are when they see me at the store and it makes me feel like I'm a part of the neighborhood. Since the neighborhood I live in is a small, fairly tight knit Italian community, it's kind of interesting to feel a bit like I belong. Most of the people who work or shop at the store grew up in the Town Plot neighborhood and have all known each other for years and years, which I haven't since I didn't. Now that I actually recognize some people in non-work situations, I feel a bit more connected to the community.
Xixpioti on December 12th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
I can relate. The corner store folks have known our children since I was pregnant, and most of the cashiers at my preferred local grocery store know me by sight. It's really cool being known like that, I'm usually mostly-anonymous. :)
Randomnessr_ness on December 12th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
That's totally cool! Reminds me of the concept of consequential strangers and their importance of that network in our lives.

Now, of course, I want to try that stand.
SaffronRosesaffronrose on December 13th, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
I remember when I hit the "corner crowd" group at Gayle's Bakery in Capitola. I was already There as far as the bakery staff were concerned, and the coffee bar knew my order by the mug offered. Now I'm over the hill, and they don't see me much.

Our usual sushi bar remembers our son's peculiar usuals, but they still look confused when I order a hamachi temaki with mango instead of green onions. Our local family run pizza & pasta place got so used to me orering polenta with pesto and extra provelone that the manager still thinks it's what I want each time. It's pumpkin ravioli with walnut alfredo sauce season, so i'm having that all the time until the season's over. Son? Always, without fail: two slices of pepperoni pizza.

The two Starbucks I'm in most often know my drink, and often, my son's, although his changes with the season. In winter, it's either warm chocolate with 4 pumps s-f hazelnut syrup, or eggnog, cold.

I always feel accomplished when I see a favorite server or clerk out of context and remember them from where I usually see them.

It's always nice to be treated as family!