So we get Arab tourists from countries that aren't allowed in Israel and Arabs from the PA. Even some of the workers can't go to other branches to work.
Never in a million years did I ever expect to find myself in this "oasis" of Jewish-Arab what's the right word... It's a pragmatic "tolerance" of sorts.
There are a number of actresses, mostly very amateur in my family, and I guess that when I'm working, I go into an acting mode. Salespeople and teachers are on stage, no less than TV, Broadway and movie stars. So, you can say that I'm in the family profession.
Using that analogy, once I'm on-stage I really don't pay much attention to people's dress and nationality or identity. I just enjoy selling the clothes we have. Yes, I really do. It's fun and much easier than controlling a class. It's almost as easy as tutoring, teaching one-on-one. Selling in the store is more like tutoring, because I work with one customer at a time.
The other night, there was this Arab guy on the outside of the store, where we have a lot of sales items. I went over to check out what was happening. I was fully in my role and enjoying myself; my smile was sincere and natural. From what I began to understand, the guy was there with a number of wives. He'd check out prices of various items and send each wife to buy them with cash from his very full wallet. He told me that he found my smile encouraging.
"You give me hope."
I didn't ask him what he meant by it. It actually made me a bit nervous. I don't treat the Arabs well for political reasons. As all readers here may know, I'm not a Leftist, nor a Liberal with a capital "L."
I'm pragmatic, not a racist. On the stage of the store, I have no prejudice if that makes any sense. Each person who enters is a human being and potential customer. I don't care about their politics when I'm showing them items they can buy. And I don't let my politics get in the way of my job. Actually, that's not quite it. In a sense my ideology makes my job more fun. I love the idea that Arabs are shopping in Yafiz and Rami Levi and putting money into the Israeli economy.
But I would never ask an Arab like the guy I helped the other night what he meant by his statement. I don't want to know and I don't want him to know what I believe either.