Sunday, March 07, 2010
Outside Dot is different
When you live in Dorchester long enough, you forget there are other parts of Boston. It's a rude awakening when you venture out past Dorchester's borders into the rest of Beantown and you realize that life may not be as rosy as you experience it on your usual route.
Would you believe that someone bumped into me on Washington Street and didn't excuse themselves? You wouldn't believe it if this happened in Codman Square, but it happened to me today in the South End. I didn't know what to do so I apologized even though I had already gone out of my way to avoid an elbow in my ribs.
Do you know people talk on their cell phones while they are driving automobiles and they don't pay attention to pedestrians? Of course this doesn't happen in Dorchester, so you are excused if you are flabbergasted by this revelation. I witnessed this on Commonwealth Avenue and do you know what else? There are some streets in Boston where pedestrians don't take advantage of the painted crosswalks! Traveling outside our Dot comfort zone is like entering a parallel reality.
Before Dorchesterites read this next paragraph, they should fetch their smelling salts.
There are parts of Boston where you will not receive exact change back. I bought two coffees this morning in preparation for a bracing walk along the Esplanade. While I was waiting for a latte to be crafted, the clerk at the register handed me my change sans the pennies that made the difference between $3.64 cents and $3.60. I suspect that four Lincolns don't go very far at the foot of Beacon Hill, but in my part of Boston, Dorchester, four cents is quintuple what most people's opinions are worth (you do the math) and they'll also buy an individually wrapped Life Saver off a convenience store counter. For an extra penny more you can get a jawbreaker or a Dum-Dum lollipop.
Money and manners may be hoarded commodities around downtown Boston. In Dorchester, these are valued for what they are worth. It is easy to find life savers, jawbreakers and dum-dums for free in Dorchester though they aren't the edible kind. Candy is dandy and you have to pay a pittance for that. As for good manners, Dorchester is awash with them, like raindrops and litter. Inside Dot, the motto is, "Good manners set one free."