Friday, July 19, 2013

Communications and Characters

A couple came into the trading post last Saturday, and together we spent some enjoyable time communicating. I say communicating, because they spoke poor English, and my French is, well . . . nonexistent. How we aquatinted ourselves, without the spoken word, is highly advanced for an old coot like me. When they arrived, I recognized they were a gregarious duo, but because of their troublesome elocution of my native tongue and the brisk pace in which they approached it, I had no idea what they were saying. It was the woman who first noticed my quizzical look and let her man in on our lackluster interaction. He stopped speaking for a moment, had an epiphany, reached into his satchel and pulled-out an iPad.

In no time at all the couple and I were effectively interfacing. Because we offer free Wi-Fi, the Frenchman was quickly able to pull-up a world map and zero me in on Guadeloupe Island, West Indies. I saw their home, her boat, his business and their kids who were staying with his parents in Paris. They were on a second honeymoon. Yup, you guessed it! They shared digital images of their wedding, first honeymoon in Kenya, and updated me on their trip thus far. It did not take long for Francois and Margarete to provide an uploaded version of their entire lives. In 20 minutes I knew more about those people than their next-door neighbors. By the time they left I was wishing for an iPad of my own so I could share my life and family with them as well.

As we said adieu and my new friends exited the building, a hip looking character of about 40 dressed in a faded camp shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops entered the store. He was well tanned and wore a mop of curly blond, sun bleached hair. As the sun worshipper began walking around the post, I noticed he had a notebook under his arm. "I wonder?” I thought to myself. I struck-up a conversation with him, and before long he was showing me images of his home on the big Island, his girlfriend on the beach, underwater shots of tropical fish and travel shots of his most recent trip. By the time he departed I felt I knew him well. I even garnered an invitation to visit him at his beachfront home.

The next guy to come in was absent the notebook, but he was an interesting character. Without images, this 65 to 70 year old guy painted a picture of rock art portraying alien visitation, life forms and space ships. His lecture left me with no doubt he believed we have been visited by beings from the outer limits. This white haired man, dressed in khakis, a blue t-shirt and hiking boots, asked if I was a religious man. Suspecting a trap, and wondering where his thought process might be leading me, I hesitated to answer. Without waiting for my reply he continued, "God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, right?" "Genesis?" I said. "Yes", said the thoughtful man, " but where was he standing when he created it?" I raised my eyebrow in a questioning manner and waited for enlightenment.

By the end of our discussion I knew his answer to the question and many more unsolved mysteries. His imagination and detailed descriptions overcame any technological disadvantages he suffered in comparison to my other guests. Because of his excellent communication skills, and since I just finished reading The Host, by Stephenie Meyer, I am now suspicious that there are, indeed, aliens among us. If nothing else, I am certain we get a goodly number of characters walking through those Kokopelli doors and the communication goes on.

With Warm Regards,
Barry, Steve, Priscilla and Danny; the Team.

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