A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

becoming known

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 13, 2008

Sometime earlier this spring, H’s mother gave me a go-green canvas shopping bag – produced by local students in conjunction with Lebanon’s greenmarket, Souk el-Tayeb. When we moved here, H insisted on bringing it with us.

We can use it for groceries, he said.

Well, we haven’t used it for grocery shopping yet, and its such a big bag that I can’t really imagine being able to lift it if it were full of canned goods and quarts of orange juice. But we did find a much-needed role for it, as our laundry bag:

(Bala Nylon means “no nylon” – in reference to plastic bags, not hosiery. The Souk’s volume buyers tend to be wealthy and well-coiffed.)

The bag holds all our dirty clothes, and its easy for our launderers to locate when we return to pick up our clean clothes.

Hi, the woman behind the counter said with a smile when I walked in yesterday afternoon. Before I could reach into my wallet and retrieve our receipt, she was already moving towards the row of laundry bags to get ours. You’re the one with the Arabic, right?

I sure am :). And thanks to the bag and H’s name, which we’ve also put on our laundry receipts, we’ve learned that our launderers are North African. The proprietor is originally Moroccan, and her helper is Algerian.

Its a small world, even in New York – and its always nice to be known :).


4 Responses to “becoming known”

  1. Leila1000 said

    Hi Diamond,

    You’ve probably already heard it’s Arab American Heritage Week here in NY, but just in case, here are the events:


    There was an awesome street fair today in Bay Ridge, and I think another one in the East Side.

  2. intlxpatr said

    Woo Hooo, Little Diamond! You are KNOWN! And how cool, by your laundry. 🙂 Nice bag!

  3. Leila, thank you so much for the link! We knew about the festival in the East Village last weekend, but couldn’t make it since we had already committed to going to the Brooklyn hip-hop festival with some friends. (For those of you who know me, please pick yourselves up off the floor when you are done laughing. _H_ is a big hip-hop fan!)

    We’re off to the festival now – a bit late, but we’re timing it to 1) beat the mid-afternoon heat and 2) segue into an early dinner with H’s relatives.

    Khalti, it is very nice to be known! And we love the bag – we’re dropping off a load en route to the subway!

  4. nicolien said

    Haha! That reminds me of when I was studying in NYC and my Lebanese friend there gave me a T-shirt that said “I (heart) New York” – in Arabic. One day I wore it to the bagel store close to university, and the guys behind the counter all started laughing: it turned out most of them were Moroccan. I think I hardly ever had to pay for my bagel after that! 🙂

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