Sunday, September 12, 2010

Four Interactions

Indian state of Madhya PradeshImage via Wikipedia110 Knocks (2)
110 Knocks


In search for the first door on my first map, I walked the wrong way yesterday, and ended up in this small park. I said hello to some people. I really got into a conversation with this woman. She was a senior, retired. She said she came over from Greece. "We are not from here." I asked a few questions and mostly listened to her talk. She had some very strong feelings about senior issues. These conversations are so important. Otherwise if your only knowledge on the issues comes from policy papers, they become abstract. You end up with a slight disconnect. She said she had sat on all sorts of committees while she was still working. She was friends with many local labor leaders who she pledged she will talk to on behalf of Reshma. Oh, her? I saw her on TV, she said about Reshma. She was referring to Reshma's NY1 appearance. I got her to promise she will get 10 people to vote for Reshma.


A young man answered the door. The name was Anglo, the face looked Indian, but I did not ask. After a brief talk, I said okay then. I walked down the steps. The father opened the door. That was my son, he said. As in, you talked to my son, you did not talk to me. This family was from Madhya Pradesh in India. The guy started talking in Hindi. He was brimming with pride in Reshma's candidacy. I said, call all your friends all over America. Those who can't vote can donate.


This was a housing project building. So I was trying to punch the numbers hoping someone will open the door. This kid half my size, obviously less than 10 years old, walked over and just stared at me like, duh. The door is open, he said and gently pushed it. See this tape? The door does not lock. I knew I was talking to the wise guy of the building. I went in, knocked on a few doors on a few different levels. On my way out I just assumed the door is open, so I pulled. It was not open. That kid appeared mysteriously to my side again. He had that duh look again. You press this button, he said, and pressed the button.


When I felt like I was half way done, I decided on a soda break, and went to sit in this small park. There were these two women sitting on a bench. I said hello. Ends up they were special ed teachers at the elementary school we could see from the park, this tall building. They were not planning to vote on Tuesday. They got talking about education. They felt passionately about small classroom sizes, additional funding, and arts and music for kids. They reminded me of the senior in that other park, only these were teachers talking about teacher issues. They promised to vote for Reshma and get about 10 others to do the same as well.

I knocked on 110 doors yesterday. I did not meet one person who told me they were voting for Maloney. I came across maybe four Schneiderman for Attorney General flyers - black and white, not color and glossy like the Reshma 2010 ones - but other than that I did not come across any political literature from any candidate for any office.

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