Since Wednesday is the start of Sukkot, the weekly shuk was held today instead. I didn’t want to buy much, since I will have a Sukkot vacation from October 8-18, and I’m hoping to make some last minute travel plans.
I bought some almonds, some carrots, and at my last stop, I started picking out tomatoes from an old man’s produce stand. He called to me, and waved me over. He uncovered a box of nicer tomatoes (?) underneath his table. “תודה” (thank you), I said, and picked out three. When I placed them on the scale, he shook his head and waved them away. “כמה זה עולה?” (how much is it) I asked, confused.
He got up and handed me the bag, and I smiled and thanked him again, hand over my heart. So nice!
I started to walk away, when he called out again. He was getting out from behind his table, and I started to get embarrassed that I had misunderstood him.
He grabbed a new bag and started walking around his stand, filling the bag with all sorts of produce.
I tried to stop him, I really did (well kind of).
A woman waiting to pay for her produce was telling me something, but I didn’t understand what. I just looked at her and shrugged.
When he finally returned, he handed me a new bag to hold open. He placed the bursting bag inside it, patted me on the shoulder, and ambled back to his other customers, while I tried to thank him (still quite in shock and wondering what just happened).
I don’t understand why I keep getting things for free at the shuk.
Last week it was spice jars, before that, stuffed grape leaves…now groceries for two weeks?
What I have learned:
1) My free food blessing is international.
2) The people here cannot stop giving. Their hospitality is truly remarkable.