About three months ago, I dropped by my neighborhood’s dry cleaners with a bag of laundry. I popped into the tiny store with a self-assured “Hello!” only to face an old, somber looking Pakistani man staring at me curiously behind the thin, wooden counter. “Inti Muslim?”* he asked me quietly. I nodded and replied yes. He put his hands dramatically on his chest and declared wholeheartedly, “Ana ba’ad Muslim! Laish inti gooli ‘Hello!’ Goolee ‘Asalm alaikom’ ashan ana oo inti akheth ajer!”* I smiled at his genuine nature and good intentions. “Inshallah.” I nodded as he grinned and looked at me in sincere approval. And I stuck to my promise ever since.
* Are you Muslim?
** Well I’m Muslim too! Why would you say “Hello!” when you and I can both collect virtues!
Alizee - Moi...Lolita
Talking Heads - Creatures of Love
Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman