Shakira told me, after spying the GPS map on the dash of the shuttle, that her brother had been her personal GPS before he moved to Houston. He'd been a cabbie in Milwaukee for over six years. He helped her get places. And, he had told her stories of many of the interesting people he met in the cab. I said that I understood.
Their father lived in New Orleans and after Hurricane Katrina they were not able to locate him for almost 7 months. Her brother went down and found that he'd been relocated to Houston. They both stayed on. She doesn’t have a GPS anymore.
She said her oldest boy is going to MATC and decided to live at home because he can save on rent, get his laundry done and get good food. He told her that. What a good mom.
So, we talked about food. I asked if she made shakshuka and did she put eggs in hers? She does. I said the first time I had it was at the Shahrazad Restaurant on Oakland and Locust and they do not. I'd also gotten the secret to the deal from the waitress. It's Arabian Seven Spice. Amazing. It's a mix quite similar to our Thanksgiving spices. Same stuff.
I told her that I had just days earlier been to Holy Land Grocery and bought some from the bulk bin.
She went on to say that she had just baked some traditional date-filled cookies for the festival day Eid ul-Fitr after the month-long fast of Ramadan. She called them Ma'amoul. Did I have a minute to wait when I dropped her at home? Yes.
She ran inside and brought me five homemade cookies from her own kitchen. I am continually amazed what a little personal attention is worth.
More stories about the people I meet in the auto dealer shuttle while driving them to work or home can be found here: