A Scene in a Bakery

The man in white apron said, “You are wearing leather shoes but no socks. You should not let customers see any part of your bare feet even if they are in shoes.” The young man who looked like 18 held the aluminum bread tray against his chest and smiled back at his boss who seemed to be in his mid-30s. “Tomorrow, wear some socks.” The young man bowed and hurried into the back of the bakery.

The boss came over to help fold the last corner of the plastic bag that held my loaf. The girl cashier stepped aside a little, smiled at him thankfully, and took my money. He taped the bag squarely, put it into a paper bag just the right size, lifted the handles and handed over to me. He waited for my hand to reach into the loop of the handles, as if I was the only one in the store, smiled at me and said, “Sorry to keep you waiting.”

Now, every time when that lady at the Detroit Airport slams a big plate of hash, bacon, and scrambled eggs down in front of me, cultural shock washes over me, at home.

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