Where Am I?
Today, I was in a rough area in Stamford, Ct. for my last closing. I kept circling, trying to find 31 Spring St. Looking left and right, I did not see any house numbers. Pulling into a driveway to get my bearings, a woman immediately started marching toward my car. She had a stern look, accompanied by a scary-looking mongrel. I certainly did not sign up for the site before my eyes. I was really out of my element, and I was terrified. Sitting in my car, I began rolling down the window. Finally, I asked if this was 31 Spring Street in a weak voice. In a split second, I received a resounding no!
I inquired if the woman in front of me, with the salivating dog, knew the borrower’s name. The answers again were a loud and clear no. The conversation took place in real-time as the mongrel, jumping on the car, kept growling and showing its pointed teeth. Finally, the woman and the dog told me to leave post-haste in words and body language. Therefore, I followed the orders backing up as quickly as possible. Dust and gravel flew in the air as I made my getaway. Once safely on the street, I began calling the borrower for exacting directions in a harried voice. Now I am told the signing was at a liquor store!
Another Day In a Beautiful Neighborhood!
The store was in a rundown industrial area. Many half-drunks were hanging out on the street. Liquor bottles, cigarettes, and lotto tickets surrounded me walking into the store. Greeting me at the door were the signors, Raggi and Ritika Sachina. The couple was middle-aged, dressed in traditional colorful Indian clothing. Speaking in their native dialect, they directed me to a small wooden counter where the cash registers were buzzing. The borrowers told me they would be signing one at a time to continue running the business. Therefore, we would juggle papers and pens in all directions.
Tight Space-Cling Cling of the Cash Register
The signing begins with everyone packed in like sardines. The husband and wife keep switching between signing and working the cash register. Workers are stepping over the boxes which surround the store floor to ceiling. They keep selling as the signing continues. They are marketing a continuous flow of shot bottles, the mini bottles you see on the airlines. The constant sounds of the cash registers opening and closing never seem to stop. Spanish words are bouncing off the walls as customers keep moving about. Raggi and Ritika keep shouting orders to the staff.
Who is Hiding Behind the Mask?
Everyone is wearing a mask that disguises their age and appearance. The owners keep asking about their customers’ ages disingenuous and carefree manner. So many of the patrons looked like young kids to me. The owners kept telling each other, “I know this guy; he is in here all the time.” With the signing continuing, an unleashed dog comes running in with its owner far behind,
Oh No! Another Dog comes a Running and Crashing
Suddenly, a large labrador unleashed slams into a wall of bottles. Hence, glass is cracking and breaking, with liquids running from every direction. My initial reaction is to cover my face from the flying missiles. Instead, my instinct leads me to pick up the papers as the writing table starts shaking. The dog is barking as the owner finally gets the animal under control. The shouting of Spanish and Indian words is coming fast and furious from every direction. The help starts frantically jumping over each other to clean up the mess.
After fifteen minutes, which seems like an hour, some semblance of order comes to light! However, the smells and aromas of the rums and vodka remain in the air. Finally, we regain our composure and get back to the task.
It’s a Dog’s Day, After All!
Well, this trekking adventure was almost over. My escape route to the front door was before my eyes.
Once back on the street, I took off my gloves, rubbing my hands with sanitizer. From a pitbull to a running labrador-dogs-dogs-dogs!. Another day another closing, another $150.
No scratches, no cuts, no bites-I win!
The journey from world trekking to notary trekking and the lessons learned continue. — reinvention, discovery, and keeping it real.