On our first day in Sarasota in January 2014, we decided to go to the beach. We could see it from our rented condo, but didn’t know how to get there. Taking the elevator down seemed a good first step.
When another couple got on the elevator, we asked if they minded directing us to the beach. “Oh, we’ll show you.”
The couple, about our age, but with a strong accent that we later learned was South African, walked us there. Before they left, they invited us to come to their condo for a glass of wine so that they could tell us about the area.
And thus was born a lovely friendship. Jan and Clive have lived in Toronto for forty-some years since fleeing South Africa. Last summer, we spent some time with them in Toronto. And we all returned to Sarasota this past January.
We just met them for a long weekend in the Berkshires where they had reserved a time-share apartment. That allowed us to cook when we didn’t feel like going out. Our breakfast shopping list included bananas.
Up earlier than our friends the next morning, Peter and I made coffee and set the table. I decided to have a banana. They weren’t on the kitchen counter. Nor were they in any of the cupboards. I concluded that because I distinctly remembered buying them, the grocery store checkout person had forgotten to put them in our bag. So I settled on a glass of juice and found the bananas. In the refrigerator!
You may remember the warning by Chiquita Banana (see http://bit.ly/1v5Thmu ) about never putting bananas in the refrigerator. Well, according to our Canadian friends, it’s OK if you do it when they are ripe. It actually keeps them from spoiling.
You can learn a thing or two from strangers you meet in an elevator.