Posted by: shineonali | January 22, 2011

Good Deed for the Day

The taxi dropped me off in front of Starbucks.  I was grumbling inside because he hadn’t taken the expressway, and then drove suuuper slowly along Chaengwatthana.  You might as well have taken the school bus.  It’s your own fault though, you should have said something right away when you noticed him going past the turn that takes you to the tollway.

My mood lifted as soon as I walked into the cheery, freshly redecorated coffee shop, and was greeted with a chorus of “sawatdii kha”s.  As I ordered my latte, I noticed a student ID card propped up on the cash register.  Green shirt, must be a middle schooler.  She’ll be upset–I heard you even need your ID to open your locker!  Or has she already gone to the library to pay to have a new one made?

The “barrista” noticed me looking.  “We find it yesterday,” she said.  We made sympathetic faces at each other as she took my cup to make my drink.  “Your student?” she asked hopefully.

I shook my head.  “No, I teach elementary.”  I looked at the name–maybe it was a former student, changed so much, as they do, that I didn’t recognize her easily.  No, not one of my old 5th graders.  But wait a sec, I know that last name!  At least, I think I do. “Her sister is in my class!” I blurted excitedly.  “I’ll make sure she gets it back.”

While I was waiting for my coffee, I hesitated.  What if I was wrong?  I couldn’t remember for sure if Prong had a sister.  What if this girl happened to have a similar last name?  (Thai names are often long, multi-syllabic contraptions–hard to remember precisely because we hardly ever say or write them.)  What if she knows she left it here, and comes to look for it?  It’ll be gone, and she might go directly to report it lost before I can get it to her!

That’s silly, Ali.  Do your good deed, and stop worrying about it turning out wrong! So I took the ID card with a smile, looking forward to the prospect of helping to brighten someone’s day.

(But just to be sure, I checked the last name against a class list in my schoolbag first!)


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