On Monday morning, I went to the Social Security regional office in Reno. I knew I was in for a “fun time,” so I arrived 20 minutes before the office opened at 9 a.m. Around 50 people were already in line ahead of me outside the big metal entrance. Heavy smoke drifted over from the Mosquito fire in California. My lower back was killing me. Sirens blared in the distance.
Guess what? I had a great time.
First off, a fellow ahead of me spoke in Spanish to the lady ahead of him. They laughed. I asked him, in English, what was so funny. He told me. It was funny. We laughed. In the next 30 minutes, he taught me all the Spanish he thought I needed to know, especially the phrase, “al mal tiempo, buena cara” (in bad weather, good face).
Close to the front door, a loudspeaker announced that everyone entering the building must wear a mask. I had none. Help! A young lady behind me handed me her extra mask.
I entered the stark building with a smile on my masked face. Oops! I had left a required document at home. The man behind the window said, “I can help you with that. Let me look that up for you and give you a copy.” He did, and I successfully completed my registration at the next window.
Upon exiting, my “Spanish instructor” gave me a quick hug and said, “Adios amigo.”
What a great morning.