Short Story #1: Happy Canada Day

Quick Story: I went to safeway today to get stuff for the bbq tomorrow and needed a cart. I didn’t have a quarter though, and I really didn’t want to lug around 30 chicken wings, 2 boxes of burger patties and 40 pounds of other stuff for an hour. I waited at the customer service lady to finish up with the person in front of me and handed her a $5.

“Can I get change please, quarters for the cart.” I said.

“Oh no that’s ok, I’ll lend you a quarter…” (as she opens the cash register and hands me a quarter) “…just return it here when you’re finished with it.”

I thought how cool it was that she would just ‘lend’ me a quarter from the Safeway till on promise from a stranger to return a quarter. It was a long ways down to my car and it would mean walking all the way back upstairs (Safeway on Robson), returning the quarter, and looping around to the exit and going back downstairs to the parkade, it was a good 2 minute trip to return a quarter. I took it, thanked her and shopped away.

I was picking out an apple when I thought about how lucky we were, to live in a community (and society) as trusting as ours. Recently back from China, you couldn’t trust your wallet in your pocket. A friend of ours told us that he had his $2000 SLR Canon camera in a case behind him walking through Beijing. When he got home to take out his camera, he found a bag full of stones instead. They’d lifted his camera and counter weighed it. He never even felt anything. It’s definitely something we take for granted at home.


After I loaded the watermelon and ice cream and the rest of the bags in my car, I did the 2 minute trip and returned the quarter. Happy Canada Day!

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