Meet Kumar. My local corner shop keeper of the past twelve years.
I top up my electricity with a key. Pro: no unexpected bills. Con: you need to make sure the charge never runs out. Happened just once in twelve years, I was watching a cliffhanger moment in The Walking Dead when suddenly poof!! everything switched off and I sat in the dark.
On Thursday, I ran below minus (you get a fiver grace) and headed to the shop to charge it up. “sorry, Anja – machine isn’t working, come back.” Same again Friday.
I went back this morning fully expecting the machine to be fixed but the engineer still hadn’t been. I had visions of doing my laundry by hand, shower in cold water and getting the candles out. Just kidding. Kumar said “so sorry, give me few minutes. Will top up for you”, saving me a trip. How cool is that?
When I returned for the key I asked if I could take his picture so I can share how awesome he is. Told him “thank you, God bless you”. Kumar said “you help me, I help you!” I left thinking, what is he talking about? He is the who makes sure my favourite groceries are there and goes the extra mile.
And then I remembered what he could possibly be referring to. A few years ago, Kumar was going blind in his left eye. It was an extremely worrying time for him and his family. So we prayed. And he got the appointment he’d been told he had to wait three months for. He got the operation. Once in a while, I check in and ask how his eyes are and they are perfectly fine.
We don’t give to receive but it sure is nice when we do receive the unexpected. Nurture your relationships including those with your local business. You never know when you may need them.
Anja, thankful to have hot water to shower, a freezer and a working MAC to bring you this short story.