At a book store in Melbourne

I was standing in the queue at a book store in Melbourne. The cashier was attending an old customer, probably in his 80s. The cashier looked like a South East Asian woman. He was talking about his reading habits, his hobbies and so many different things. I always find it fascinating the way Australians speak, they got such a heavy accent. I was listening to their conversation. The way he was talking it appeared to me that they knew each other for a long time. During the conversation she was not showing any sign of hurry and was listening to every word of him and was acknowledging wherever necessary. The entire conversation lasted not less than 15 minutes. Finally he thanked her and bade her good bye.

As soon as he left she attended me. She apologized for keeping me waiting for such a long time. When I told that there was no reason for her to apologize because she was attending a customer after all, she mentioned that there are many old people like that gentleman, who often visit their store and buy books only because they want to talk. They have nobody to talk to in their homes, they live alone, all by themselves. She could not help them in any way other than listening to them as long as they wanted to talk. When I inquired about their children she mentioned that their children probably visit them once a year or could be even less.


Author: Mintu Ghoshal


Follow him on facebook:


35 thoughts on “At a book store in Melbourne”

  1. Two things strike me about this. First, I think it’s nice the cashier patiently listened to the man and didn’t hurry him along. Second, I think your understanding was unusual. Maybe things are different in the US, but most people here seem to be rushed and impatient and concern for others is sorely lacking. Sad, really.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I read the adventure story which also has lots of beautiful photos. I also wanted to click on the ‘like’ but could not find the button, I am very new to ‘wordprss’ and still not familiar with many things. But I liked it. Please do write. If you are in facebook then kindly send me a friend request. It will also help to know when you have published a new story in wordpress. Have a wonderful day. Regards. Mintu Ghoshal.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely story especially today when everyone is in such a hurry to get on to the next customer because no one wants to wait. Thanks for sharing that story. And thanks for following my blog. Stillness! Patience! Presence!


  3. Thank you. Father and I are moving 800 miles NW of our present area-a bit frightening for two old men . In Miami vast wealth, glitter and flash but majority low income, crime and corruption and gridlock. From seacoast to rural inland hill country.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you very much for sharing these special moments, a wonderful example of empathy and tolerance. Elderly people seem to be put aside in our too materialistic and often selfish society, in spite of all their valuable experiences, all they gave to us. We all need love and understanding. Gratefulness to this attentive lady.


  5. I’ve seen that happen in bookstores too, and not just old people. I go to one used bookstore and I listen to the people talk to the staff, and I can tell some are regulars, and come just to chat. We all have to deal with loneliness, at any age. But we also want like minded people to talk to, and if you’re a bookworm, isn’t it logical to talk to people in a bookstore?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful reminder to look below the surface of a person. To recognize that so often people’s behavior’s are motivated by causes we don’t understand – and to treat everyone with kindness. Perhaps our kindness will sustain that person another day. You’ve warmed my heart – thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely story. At 77 when visiting people in nursing homes, I realized why their children didn’t visit often. So many of us older guys simply complain all the time. Yes, we have plenty to complain about, but several of us “little old ladies” decided to try to avoid that kind of whining. We made up a Scripture (which I don’t think you’re supposed to do!) We tell everyone that “Monday is the day the Lord hath made for whining” However, if you don’t whine on Monday, it is a movable feast, and you can whine on one other day each week. I have found the best part of getting old is laughter. I have laughed more in the last seven years than the first seventy all together. Of course, most of it is laughing at myself when I lose my glasses, coffee cup or purse. Or think someone has stolen the dozen eggs I bought the day before, then realize how silly that is and finally notice that I had already taken them out of the refrigerator and put them on the counter.
    My advice: Learn to laugh at trouble (and yourself) when you are young, or you will have nothing to laugh at when you are old. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog as your visit led me back to you. Giving of one’s self like through listening is a great thing. As others have said, society today seems so rushed and impatient. Acts of kindness are needed even more!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s