Old fashioned occurances in the 21st century

I had an interesting interaction today. While driving home from a modern, state of the art Kia dealership, I arrived on my block to see an individual wearing a hoodie poking thru my neighbor’s garbage. In the back of his pick-up truck, {along with the usual water heater, and twisted pipes}, I saw 3 ancient metal folding chairs.{the kind with a real, wooden seat bottom}. These are the kind of chairs that were already very old when I was a kid in the early 70’s…
Being nostalgic, I wanted to buy the chairs. I stopped my car, and assumed I would speak Spanish with the scrapper. To my surprise it was a very old Asian gentleman who did not speak English. Via hand signs and his few words of English, he told me he was Vietnamese. Eventually, we settled on a price of $6 for the 3 chairs. He indicated via hand signs, that he wanted to know where I lived because he had access to more of the same chairs. Get this ! Two hours later he shows up to my house with a single matching chair :).
I gave him $3 {instead of the going rate of $2}. He kept saying “no,no,2 dolla”. I just insisted he take the $3, which he did.

I suppose my question{s} are as follows: We are in the 21st century, but the last time I can remember having a discussion like the one above {especially considering the prices involved} was in 1989. I realize that the Vietnamese fellow would get a lot less at the scrap yard for the chairs than the $6 I gave him. But what explains his willingness to show up two hours later at my house with a single chair and try to refuse the extra $1 I offered ?

I am interested in hearing similar stories where 21st century prices are juxtaposed against an older, simpler mind set…

Since the OP is looking for personal experiences, let’s move this to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Back in ~~~ 1998, My Wife and I took a quick 3 night trip to Cabo San Lucas. At the liquor store, the shop keeper was very helpful. I insisted he kept the change from the purchase (maybe a few bucks) he refused to take it. I explained as well as I could that I wanted him to have it. He said ok, and through a couple of cigars in our bag of booze.

I was in China once - Shanghai, to be specific - and ran into a little convenience store across from my hotel to get some snacks to keep in the room. I took them all up to the counter. The little old man behind the counter whipped out an abacus and added up the total! Fortunately for me, he wrote down the total on a piece of paper in western-style numerals so I knew how much to pay him.

Wow ! Now that’s what I’m talking about.

What year was that ?


2002, so it was in the 21st century. And Shanghai, for the most part, is a thoroughly modern city. But this little old geezer and his store were a blast from the past.

I was walking back to my car after seeing a movie and witnessed some guy on his knees messing with my cars lock. I shouted at him and he ran away but left the screw driver he had been using to try to open the lock.

When’s the last time you could open a car door with just a screwdriver, the mid 90s?

Almost every weekend a few of my buddies and I get together and drink beer and play music. Acoustic instruments only. About halfway through we take a break and have some pie and ice cream.

I got a notification in the mail (snail) about a clean and decorate day for this Saturday for an old graveyard that some of my Mothers people are buried in. These are old graves of Aunts and Uncles and one Great-grandparent. Someone did some serious research to get to my married name and address.
That’s dedication, right there.

I like flea markets and sometimes find myself bargaining with someone in hand gestures and written numbers because we don’t share a common language.

I was in Cyprus a few years ago and went to a local family-operated restaurant. It wasn’t busy, as we were eating quite early (compared to Cypriots). The wife had a fresh pan of pasticchio and we ordered that. The portions were huge. When the owner found out we were visiting from the US, he insisted on sitting down with us to have some Cypriot brandy. He introduced his entire family. (Turned out that the waitresses were his daughters.) I tried to tip at the end of the meal (cash…no CC accepted) and he was very reluctant. The only way I could get him to accept the tip was if I accepted the remainder of the bottle of brandy we had been sharing. It might as well have been 1890.

Plus, free screwdriver! Hope it was a good one.

The one time my car got stolen, when I got it back, it had the screwdriver they used still in it. I still have it.

This was 1997, because it was during Titanic. 3 hours twenty minutes of sad and depressing death and I come out to find an empty parking space and a pile of glass.

To defeat a door lock with a screwdriver, does one jam it into the key hole and try to destroy the lock?

I just Googled it and apparently with a REALLY old car it’s possible to wedge a screwdriver between the outer part of the lock and the door itself, jam it into the gap, and pop off the lock.

Not exactly the same thing, but:

Two years ago, we were moving from Houston to Jax, FL. We called a moving company to load the Penske truck. They sent a manager out a few weeks in advance to give an estimate; he said 5 hours @ $X/hr, which seemed more than reasonable to me–I figured at least 6 hrs. The day of the move, the guys (3) were 20 minutes EARLY to scope out the job and started exactly on time. They were friendly and very efficient and impressed that I had so much of the stuff boxed up and ready to load. They were finished in THREE HOURS! :eek: We went to settle up and they only charged us for the three hours. I insisted they booked five hours and should be charging for five, but nope, they worked three and would only take three hours’ payment! OK, I’m hip: 40% bigger tip for them than I was planning to give, plus we offered to buy them lunch if they’d follow us to our fave pizza joint just up the road. They declined with real regret, but this gave them a 3 or 4 hour jump on their afternoon gig and they were itching to get going. We shook hands all around and they hit the bricks. I’m still stunned. And grateful.

I saw a guy who had prepaid for $25 worth of gas and couldn’t fit it in his tank. He looked at me and I pointed behind him at a young Mom and 3 kids in a beat up chevy. He motioned for her to come in behind him and he put the $4 of gas in her tank. When I was driving off I saw her hugging him. It was nice.

Tell me this was in our state.