Baqala Blast from the Past

In this world, what matters most is not the wealth you accumulate in your life, but rather the number of lives you touch.

Today started out like any other day; the traffic to work thinning as more people punch out for their summer vacations.

Upon arriving at the office, I went through my usual standard daily morning rituals – checking my work email, getting a few laughs over at Uberhumor, checking world news over at BBC and of course tending to expat queries at Expat-Blog.

After a short period of time, my insatiable caffeine appetite kicks in, and I begin my journey from my desk on one side of the office all the way to the water boilers on the other side. I balance my steaming cup of green tea in one hand attempting to avoid the precarious lumps in the carpet as I navigate back to my desk.

Three quarters of the way there, a voice calls to me. I turn around and witness a stranger beckoning me forward. Perturbed at having to postpone guzzling my green tea, yet slightly quizzical as to what this stranger may request of me, especially given that I am an internal auditor (i.e. most people automatically do not like me).

I move forward to meet him halfway, he begins by asking if I live in Hawally. I said yes, and immediately wondered if he might be asking to carpool. His next question caught me off guard, do you remember me? At this point I had no choice but to smile like a goofball as I attempted to sift through tons of memories and recollect who this seemingly familiar stranger was. He made it a bit easier for me by saying, think back 11 or 12 years ago.

Actually it was longer than that, more like 15 to 17.

No sooner had he mentioned a time frame did everything suddenly click – standing before me was the baqala owner who worked near my house! His name was Mansour, I immediately recollected that, along with the following anecdotes for your reading pleasure:

a) at a young age I was attempting to gauge the value of money. I’d had a half KD note and wished to get change. I asked Mansour and he refused, saying he had no change. I thought to myself, well if I buy a can of Miranda and some gum, then change my mind and ask for my money back, he’ll have to give me change! I thought I had him over a barrel but it did not work that way! He did not give me a refund.

b) the next story is a bit more cheeky as it involves … shop lifting.

I had been racing a friend and ran into the shop, feigning exhausting I attempted to slip a 50 fils pack of gum into my palm.

But I was caught.

And I apologized profusely stating in bewilderment, “that’s not mine! I don’t know how it go there!”

Lesson learnt, I would stick up for my newly acquired friend when the kids around the area would mock him for some reason or the other.

Suffice to say it was a nostalgic meeting that proved that even the most coincidental meetings in the past can hold future tidings of an uplifting nature.

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August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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