Forgive Me, Trash Collectors of the World

Even when we think we’re open-minded,  we can be proven wrong. It happened to me last week in Japan. There I was thinking I was all free of judgment and stereotypes… then Bam! Exposed! Let me explain.

I regularly go to an Ikebana class, which I enjoy very much, but no one else in my life seems to value or pay much attention to it. My husband barely notices when I bring flowers into our house,  and when I participated in a flower exhibition last spring, I couldn’t even GIVE AWAY the tickets to friends! In my experience, most people have a ho-hum attitude towards flowers.

So, last week I went to my ikebana class and I created a gargantuan scary arrangement. I say scary because the branches were huge and seriously out of control, and could poke your eyes out.

Anyway, I walked out of the building with another woman from the class and we waited at the curb holding our flowers.

Just then a Japanese trash collector drove around the corner in his truck coming our way.

He noticed us from a distance and took on the strangest expression. Looking our direction, he got a wide eyed look of wonder or surprise. I turned around to look behind me, thinking that something had happened to catch his attention.

But nope, nothing. Just us holding our arrangements.

The trash collector pulled up in front of us, stopped, and rolled down the window. He grinned the biggest grin I’ve seen, and gave us a thumbs up.

“Sugoi!” (Super!) he said enthusiastically and then drove away.

I stood there stunned, and then laughed in surprise. I never expected a trash collector to even notice flowers, let alone be excited by them.

Sorry trash collectors of the world. I will never judge you again…

When have you been surprised by someone and your expectation proven wrong? Do tell…

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17 thoughts on “Forgive Me, Trash Collectors of the World

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Forgive Me, Trash Collectors of the World « World Curious Traveler -- Topsy.com

  2. I once had a really funny experience while going shopping with one of my friends. We had been shopping for some stuff to use to make something nice for the annual LA Aids walk, and we wanted it to be weird and really different. So, as you would expect, we came out of the store with a HUGE fake dinosaur in hand, a couple of bottles of hairspray, along with tens and thousands of ribbons with all the newspaper the store had.
    When we walked outside, have you ever seen the person who switches the sprinklers on in the morning?
    He suddenly got it into his head that we were buying stuff for making our own version of Jurassic Park and yelled, “Tell me when it hits the Box Office!”
    That was HILARIOUS. To this day, whenever I see a movie with a dinosaur in it, I remember that guy.

  3. What an amazing testament to life’s little surprises, especially when it comes to people surprising us (in the best way) with what they do and say! Your arrangement is wonderful – I *do* happen to love flowers, grew up with parents who went to flower shows. 🙂 I remember a young man who came to repair something once, like many others in the neighborhood, he was a recent immigrant from Latin America and I expected him to go efficiently and quietly about his work, since we couldn’t communicate well (our abilities in one another’s language being limited). But then he overheard me talking on the phone about wine, and in his best limited English, he told me about a tiny liquor store in a rough corner not far away, that was having a sale on a terrific Italian white. Of course I went to check it out and it was one of the loveliest discoveries ever – the wine, the discovery of it in the most unlikely place, and this young repairman man – all surprised my expectations in the best way.

  4. That’s a very sweet memory 🙂 I think we are too often judge people based on their profession, but really, they are individuals with their own character and taste. I’m glad to know you are into flowers. Me too, even though more of those that stays on the plants. I can be quite fanatic in visiting botanic gardens during their blooming times.

  5. This is a funny story. I have to admit that I would take a closer look at your arrangement too. I guess it goes to show that some people can really surprise you.

  6. P.S. Just popped back in to say I loved your comment about Cooks Illustrated – so true they test things out so well and really teach you about food!

  7. The way this story was going, I thought the trash collector was going to ask if you needed your arrangement to be “collected” – that would have been devastating! So happy he complimented you instead.

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