Yesterday was mostly about errands. I took a sweater into the dry cleaner–the guys I wave hi to every time I pass by, which is often–and, for not the first time, the owner wrote down my first name on a piece of paper, pinned it to the article of clothing, and told me to pick it up Thursday. No last name, no phone number, no receipt. Why would I need one? I know where the dry cleaner is, after all, and of course I’d want my sweater back.

Then, I hauled something like 12 books up to the used bookstore. The woman at the store told me that she wasn’t allowed to price and sell the books, but there was no reason for me to continue to schlep them–she’d just make a pile and put my name and number on it, and the owner would call me after he’d had a look at them.

Now, I’m trying to imagine this happening in the US. Maybe in the small towns, where everyone really does know one another. But the big cities? Just leave your merchandise, and of course we’ll pay you and give you a fair price for it? I’m having trouble with this picture.

But of course I left the books, and of course the owner called me last night, and of course he’s leaving a note in his ledger books so that anytime I come by, I’ll be able to collect my money. It’s like stepping back in time, in a very nice way.

Then I went to the copy shop and it was annoying and headachey, and I was reminded that, when it’s not a small town, Israel is a customer service-free zone. So it evens out. But still. I love those little moments when I get them.

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