Monday, October 03, 2005

careless bands

three weeks ago today, give or take, i was sitting in an overpriced cafe in palmyra, waiting for my ride to the citadel. at one point i noticed that the waiter had a familiar yellow band around his wrist with the word "livestrong" etched in english.

"where did you get that?" i asked the waiter.
"a friend gave it to me."
"is your friend from here?"
"no, he's from america."
"i am too."
"then tell me," the waiter asked, "what does this thing mean?"
"it's charity [zakat]."
"the band?"
"it indicates that you gave money to someone." i explained.
"but it's a gift. i just took the band. i didn't give zakat"
he thought it over for a second, then continued, "why would someone who gives money to the poor wear anything to show that they gave?"
"i don't know. i've never understood them. but they are very popular in the u.s. right now."

defective yeti has the answer. where was he three weeks ago? (give or take)