There was a small queue for fresh omelets and fried eggs. As might be typical in any hotel, in any city, and in any country, we were standing armed in business attire, ready to do battle. Normally there is a tactical ceasefire when food is involved. I think it stems from the fact that we cherish our families and food represents the one family gathering that is both common and precious. Besides, everyone needs and deserves the opportunity to eat.
I am not sure the two knew each other, they were acting they did. As one spoke of his transitions, he mentioned that he had moved from Central London to Walton on Thames. I was excited!
“Where did you move to in Walton on Thames?”
“I used to live in Ellsmere Place.”
“You do not sound British. Where do you live now? Where are you from?”
The first shot in a subtle war was on! The last question could easily be, in a British context, a condescending put-down. Given the tone and upper crust accent, I knew exactly what he was intending for me to hear. Every fiber of my being wanted to put him in his place! For a change, a ignored the remark and talk of my love for England, Chelsea (real football), and the lovely village we used to know as home.
His colleague, with a strong American accent, spoke of his transition; from London to Los Angeles to Singapore. As we found ourselves standing alone, the sense of community, camaraderie, and our love of life returned. We laughed and talk of how much we enjoyed each location what it gave.
Far too often, I find myself wearing an upper crust attitude, acting if I have discovered a god within. I find myself at home with the invitation that goes out far and near, “gather around, come on in, all you refugees and castoffs. They [we] don't seem to know much, do they—those who carry around their no-god blocks of wood, praying for help to a dead stick?” (Isaiah 45.20)
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