Posted in Phone, tagged $10, cafes, DC, football, international, school, soccer, sports, washington on September 29, 2010|
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I sat at Illy Café at the corner of New Hampshire Avenue and M Street sipping a double espresso. To my right sat a girl who seemed to also be writing in a journal of sorts. The last time I saw someone writing in a journal we got to meet Roey…maybe this would turn into a recipient 273.
I asked her to accept my $10. She did and asked to take a few minutes to talk to her for the blog post. Coincidentally she was waiting for someone that she was going to interview!
I am usually pretty good a detecting accents and determining where people are from, but I had no idea about Elina. First let me say that she speaks incredible English. Occasionally I would hear a slight accent that would make me think Eastern European. But just when I would think that was it, I would detect an ever so slight southern twang! I give up!
Elina hails from Regensburg, Germany. (photo: Reed)
So it turns out that she was born in Russia but grew up in the small town of Minden, Germany which is about 25 miles west of Hanover. Her flawless English is probably partly due to her time in the US as an au pair and a year that she spent studying in Virginia on a scholarship. “It completely changed my life.” These days she lives in Regensburg, Germany. “People kind of know who I am there because I was voted “party queen of Regensburg” on StudiVZ, a German social networking site similar to Facebook.
So I discover that she is in DC for about two months doing research for her undergrad thesis paper that studies society’s perception of soccer in Washington, DC. “So I am actually interviewing people for my research,” she explained. “I’m actually waiting for the President of a fan group for DC United.”
The $10 will come in handy Elina tells me. “I’ve been refusing to add more minutes to my American cell phone since I’m leaving next week. I’m down to just $5 now and this will hopefully get me through these final days.” She actually says that unlike most other 23-year-olds she hates having a cell phone. “I didn’t have one until I started my studies.”
Just then a guy approached our table and she asked, “Are you Paul?” Her interview subject had arrived.
Elina used the $10 to add minutes to her cell phone. (photo: Reed)
Paul is one of the leaders of the Screaming Eagles, a 1,100 member fan community for DC’s professional soccer club. All three of us chatted for a while about random topics. I didn’t want to impose on the time Elina had set up to meet with Paul so I said goodbye to both of them and excused myself.
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You might have noticed that I have skipped over Day 101. I am still doing a little research for the write up and hope to get that posted soon.
By the way, for those of you who want to vote to determine who will join me at Clyde’s Restaurant, make sure you go to Day 88 before Friday. I will then tally the votes and contact those who have the most votes and schedule a time to go to Clyde’s! It’s going to be fun.
Last Friday evening I was on my way to see my friend Michael in Man of La Mancha at the Greenbelt Arts Center. Michael plays the lead role of Don Quixote, and he is awesome. He sings the most beautiful version of The Impossible Dream that I have ever heard. There are still performances for the next two weekends if you are in the DC area and would like to see it.
As I was waiting for my friend Jeff to pick me up, I found Gloria waiting at the bus stop. A few buses came and went and I noticed she wasn’t getting on them, so I decided to say hello.
Gloria, originally from El Salvador, has lived in Washington, DC for eight years. We spoke in Spanish which gave me the opportunity to practice my language skills a little. She told me that she was waiting for her ride to pick her up.
I asked her what she liked about living here in DC and she said, “the snow!” She commented on how beautiful she thought it was. It makes sense. It’s just something you are never going to see living in El Salvador. “We couldn’t even leave our home for a couple of days because of the snow, but that didn’t bother us…it was beautiful!” she remarked.
I asked her what she was going to do with the $10 and she said she was going to use it to help pay her phone bill.
Right as we were speaking her ride pulled up and she hurried on her way. I didn’t get her contact information so I am hoping that she reads this and reaches out to me.
Gloria, si Ud. lee esto, por favor éntrese en contacto conmigo. Me gustaría seguir en contacto con Ud. y invitarla a la celebración que voy a hacer al final del año. Adjunto hay un mensaje de vídeo para ti!
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I got out to go to the gym today. Hadn’t been there since the snow storm. On the way back I stepped on what I thought was ice and my sneaker sunk like 6 inches and became completely water logged…thankfully it happened on the way home, so I was already done with my workout.
I went out later in the day to find my recipient. Too many people ventured out in the snow today. It’s like amateur driver day – people who have no business driving in this weather are out and about. I saw a little compact car with bicycle size tires trying to navigate the streets.
I got stopped by the Save the Children canvassers…I stopped and listened to him. Told him I was doing my own venture and he kept trying to get me to give them money until I finally just said I could help them in other ways, but not with money…but he wasn’t interested.
First I approached Ernesto and then a few blocks away Gene … both said they didn’t want to accept the $10. They didn’t feel worthy of it. So, I was off to find someone else. Hopefully both Ernesto and Gene check out the site and comment on their decision. By the way guys, you are still invited to come to the year-end party..so keep following the blog.
I found Lionel sitting on a bench with a crazy hat on. I found out that the 43-year-old was originally from Sinaloa, Mexico. Coincidentally, I lived in the state of Sinaloa in 1990-1991 as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. He was from the capital city, Culiacan, about 2 hours away from where I lived. He first came to the US in the 80s. Right now he is unemployed. He was a bike messenger here in DC for the last 13-14 years and hopes to find work again once the snow clears out of DC. If anyone knows of someone needing to contract a bike messenger in DC, let me know!
Some interesting things about Lionel. His nephew is Jamar Nesbit, who is a member of the 2010 Superbowl winning Saints! Nesbit (#67) did not play apparently, but should receive a ring. That is pretty cool. Athletics runs in the family. Lionel used to be a boxer in both the US and Mexico and his daughter has played college sports.
Lionel says he will spend the $10 to put minutes on his cell phone (which is in a Pittsburgh Steelers case!).
I spent another 30-40 minutes talking to Lionel. He is a very nice guy and I did something that I have not done before. I gave him my cell phone number. I usually just give an email address…but he did not use email. Hopefully I can meet up with him again sometime soon.
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