Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[culture] No English needed

I was driving to Denver yesterday evening to pick up Lisa, Jessie and McKinzy at the airport. I was on I25 on the south end of the metropolitan area in very heavy traffic - 6 lanes in each direction and a speed limit of 75MPH. My right rear tire blew out - a tire that was only 3 weeks old. Fortunately, I was in the right lane and was able to get off onto the shoulder safely - next to one of those concrete barrier walls. The traffic was so heavy and fast I was feeling dizzy and very frightened indeed. I started moving stuff out of the back of the car so I could get to the tire and jack and was having a very difficult time getting the jack out of its home in the trunk. I couldn't help but notice all of the SUVs, Hummers and sleek European cars whizzing by - cars bearing Godly and righteous bumper stickers proclaiming their love for the lord, love for their neighbors, love for the troops, love for every unborn beating heart, but they had no love for this diminutive 59 year old white haired woman - this woman who by now was shaking and in tears.

My saviors arrived in an old beat up small white pick up truck with painting equipment in the back. It pulled up in front of my car and out rolled 3 brown men in baseball caps with white paint spattered on their skin and their clothes. They immediately took over the task at hand. They spoke no English - but none was needed for them to see a woman in dire need. No English was needed to help in perfect team work to get the tire changed in about 5 minutes; no English was needed for them to refuse the $20 I offered; no English was needed for them to accept the small bag of freshly made chocolate chip cookies that I had for Jess and McKinzy; no English was needed for them to understand my gratitude when I put my small and perfectly manicured hand in each of their tire-dirty, paint sprinkled brown hands to convey my thanks. No English was needed as we nodded and wave at each other as we drove away.

I wish I could understand why so many want to keep these people out or send them back home.
Tags: culture, family, language, people

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