More Adventures with Servicemen

The washer is finally fixed!

The microwave maybe too!

This repairman was from Kazakhstan (I resisted mentioning Borat, the only thing that came to mind when he said that.) He asked me if I was Jewish. Minutes before, I had signed up for a cooking class at the Manhattan JCC using a gift card I got from my Birthright trip. But there is no way this man could have known that.

"Yes, why?"

"The area." And he made a swirling motion with his hand.

It is true that one block down from me, on the other side of Broadway, is a densely populated neighborhood of Orthodox Jews, instantly recognizable by their strict dress codes. I look down at my clothes. It is feasible that, to the untrained eye, what I'm wearing looks something akin to the female Orthodox uniform. Black tights, black skirt and a plain white blouse. Of course, where I deviate is the skirt is short and tight, with a zipper up the front and the blouse is elbow length with an almost off the shoulder collar. I wondered if he thought I was wearing a wig too but then decided if he mistook me for religious, he probably did not know very much about the rules of Orthodox dress.

"I'm not religious though. At all." I clarify, just to be sure.

Orthodox Outfit


He also saw my envelope addressed to the department of labor on the kitchen table. (I guess he was a little nosey.) He told me he had been unemployed for six months after he was unceremoniously let go from a security company. "I have three sons," he said.

I nod knowingly, even though my situation is completely different.