“Hello,” I said as I stepped into the black Mazda which I waved down at Hempstead Terminal. After an exchange of ‘how are you,’ I asked, “how is your summer going?”
“It’s going well how’s yours,” said a twenty-one-or-something year old Latino man with a goatee.
“It’s good,” I replied.
He inquired further: “what’s good about your summer?”
“Getting a lot of things done, but nothing very exciting,” said I, clearly pressing small talk for all it was worth.
“Yeah that’s always how it is you make plans but the summer never goes according to plan.”
“What did you plan for this summer?”
“I planned to go to Israel”
Hold up… I thought to myself. He’s probably a Christian visiting Israel for a Jesus related purpose.
But just in case…
“Oh really? Are you Jewish?”
“Well no, but I have Jewish Grandparents, so I get to go on a free trip.”
“I went on birthright!”
Eduardo surprised that I knew which trip he was talking about exclaimed, “wait you’re Jewish?!”
“Like you’re just Hebrew or Jewish like you follow..”
“I am observant,” I said.
“Oh okay that’s cool,” said Eduardo stroking his chin thinkingly. “I follow some of the Jewish holidays and stuff.”
“Which side of your family is Jewish?”
“My moms side”
“Wait… your mom is Jewish?”
“I just told you my grandparents are Jewish…”
“Well she’s from israel and then moved so Spain – she’s sephardic I guess.”
“I’m also Sephardi… but so that means you’re Jewish!”
“No I’m not, I don’t even really follow it,” said Eduardo with a disappointing tone.
“But That’s two separate sides of the coin!”
“Yeah, congratulations you’re a Jew!!”
He smiles at this.
As we arrive at my destination in Garden City;
Eduardo says in parting, “where would you like me to drop you off?”
“Right here is fine.”
“Nah, I’ll drop you off a little closer.” He stops the car, “it was nice talking to you.”
“You too, it’s always nice meeting a fellow Jew! I hope you end up going on your trip.”
And in good spirits we both waved goodbye.