Fiorella started the day by meeting up with an old friend of hers, a fellow poet, and they discussed the state of the nation, the country, and their own lives. Carol, who is more philosophically inclined than Fio, calls herself an old soul, but Fiorella suspects she herself is a newbie because that's the only way she can explain the stupid things she's done in her life
On the way home, Fiorella stopped at the post office to mail some packages, but time and time again, the self-serve machine rejected her so she had to get in line for counter service. The woman in front of her was on her phone, and Fio's ear caught a slight accent, so, of course, as soon as the woman finished her call, Fiorella asked her where she was from--PUERTO RICO! The woman had been speaking to her mother to see if the supplies she had sent home had arrived yet, and she told Fio that her parents were lucky because their home was built of concrete and they had a generator, although it would only run for about three hours a day. "Most people are not that lucky," she added.
When it was Fio's turn at the counter, her ear caught another accent. She looked at the post office man, then at his name badge (Hoang) and took a chance. "Vietnamese?" He looked surprised, but said "yes." Fiorella, of course, asked him how to say "hello" in Vietnames, and she thought he said something that sounded like "gau," which she dutifully practiced all the way home until she suddenly remembered that years ago Michele Bidelspach had taught her that "chao" was how to say it." Maybe the post office man was using a dialectal version or maybe Fio's linguistic ears aren't what they used to be. She's betting on the latter.