Well, life really got back to normal today when I returned to Logos. It's funny when you go a long distance and stay a couple of weeks, it seems like you've been gone forever and that when you come back, things in your life will have changed in your absence. But in two and a half weeks, things don't change all that much and there was Peter sitting behind the cash register, the same paintings on the wall and all was as I left it.
My day started off with a bang with a young Asian student who bought a $4.86 book and only had $100. It took almost all of the currency in the cash register to give him change and Susan had the same thought I did when she came at 6, wondering if it was a real $100 bill. He seemed young and innocent and had difficulty with Englsh. Just exactly the perfect personality to fool an innocent like me. I hope it was a real bill. I'd hate to think of cheating Susan and Peter out of that much money.
A personal tragedy came next. It was a little warm in the office...not bad, but enough that I decided to pull out my fan to cool off. I love that fan that Walt bought me in China and use it a lot. I used it frequently on the trip, but apparently in all the packing, I must have crushed something because the piece that holds it all together broke. I'm either going to have to figure out how to fix it or buy another fan...but I really like THIS fan.
A guy came in with three books on cars from the bargain books outside the store. In between the time he opened the door and the time he got to the desk to pay, he talked himself out of buying them because he said he really should buy a house before he bought books and that he was in the market for a house right now. He took them back outside and came back in to tell me the kind of book he was looking forward to. His description was so technical the only word I recognized was "book." Whatever it was he was looking for, he didn't find it.
The next customer was really fun. He wanted to know if I had books on Zambia, travel or history. I showed him where he should look and he actually found a book on the history of Zambia. I started asking him about Zambia and it turns out he was in the Peace Corps there, returning about 18 months ago. He was working on agricultural production, but said it was difficult to talk about irrigation with people who are fairly new at agriculture (up until 50 years ago they were hunter-gatherers), and grow their crops with rain as their water source. If they have a bad year, they live in the bush for the next year, until it begins to rain again.
After he left there was some slow time and I realized that Lacie's birthday is this weekend. We can't go because of having to review three shows. Also, Laurel hadn't updated her Amazon wish list to include new "stuff" for Lacie, so I decided to birthday shop for her at Logos, which has a really nice selection of children's books. I had fun picking out a few of them.
Someone bought the book "Winning the Losers Game." It was another Asian customer who was very shy and extremely polite.
My regular customer, who always comes in around 4:30, came in and asked me how our vacation had been. We talked about that for awhile. He has also been to Istanbul and commiserated with the traffic situation! His choice of a book this year was a study of the photography of Vivian Maier. I remember getting mail from someone who mentioned Maier and I had looked up information about her at that time, so I knew she was a street photographer, born in France, but living in the US (she learned English by going to the movies), who began taking pictures in 1951 and amassed an incredible body of black and white work, while working as a nanny in Chicago. She died in 2009, at age 83. It's worth looking at her web site to see the dramatic photos she took just walking around the streets of New York and Chicago.
A woman who had a plastic bag instead of a purse, bought 3 children's books, including one I had looked at but decided wasn't right for Lacie. She says she loves giving that book (about bringing a new baby into the home) at baby showers.
Late in the afternoon, a cute little woman crept in, on tip toes, her shoulders hunched up and her finger on her lips. "Shhh," she said. "Nobody knows where I am. This is where I come to treat myself..." She wandered around the shelves for awhile and then bought 3 philosophy books. The total of her purchases came to $14.58. She asked if she could give me a $20 bill and let me keep the change because she likes the philosophy of Logos. She told me this was her favorite book store and added, "If everyone would share their good fortune, the world would be a better place, don't you think?"
The last customer of the day, for my shift was a guy looking for books by Amy Tan...specifically "The Kitchen God's Wife." He found Amy Tan books, but not that one, but bought something else and as I rang it up, looked around and said, "I like your book store." I told him about Susan and Peter's policy of donating the proceeds to Doctors without Borders and Save the Children and he was even more impressed by it.
Susan was a little late relieving me but came in with a friend, pushing a baby carriage with an adorable little baby in it. The baby was wearing a t-shirt that said "I'm bilingual--I cry in French and English."