America is a cauldron of exotic people.
Yesterday at a party celebrating my friend's completion of permanent head damage (aka Ph.D.), I had piece of delicious icecream cake on my plate, and I went into kitchen and started talking to a very warm girl doing the hardwork of shuttling pizzas in & out of oven. Considering how high up I am towards my progress in Ph.D. (read above full form again :-), absendmindedly the plate tilted in my hand, and splat! Icecream cake was on the floor.
Now listen to what happened next! I was searching for tissue to grab the cake, put it in trashcan, and wipe the floor, when in swooped this young lady, picked up the remains of cake from the floor, and took it on 'her' plate, and said nonchalantly, "Don't worry, I will eat it!" I was aghast! Now, my standards of cleanliness and what is hygienic are below the world average, but this was even beyond me! and being the sensitive person that I am, I was not going let anyone suffer for my mistakes. I started to grab at piece of the cake. We almost got into a tussle, when I sensed her resolve, and backed up for the fear of hurting her.
"You would throw it in trashcan!", she said. "I can't allow that. I am a freegan. I believe in not wasting any food."
"But it is unhygienic! You might get a food infection!"
"Dont worry", she said,"I do that all the time. My stomach is made of steel."
Aghast at this ordeal she was going through, due to my mistake, and surprised by strength of her beliefs & resolve, vague thoughts about satyagraha, and my father chiding me for leaving few grains of rice in my plate hovered in my mind. But I was too dazed to think through :-)
Then she started telling me about her principals. "I used to do dumpster diving earlier." (i.e. Searching dumpster for food thrown away because it is beyond expiry date, but perfectly edible.) "I don't do that anymore. But I can easily do this. Don't worry about me."
I offered to eat up the rest, but she was doubtful :-) "You would throw it in trashcan." So she would not budge. Now I am looking up freeganism on the google, and can see where she was coming from. I am simply amazed at her passionate belief of what was right, and her readiness to act for it despite fear of what others think/ risk of food infection, and all this with smiling generosity of spirit. How many people can show such courage! I for fact know, I can't :-)
I am just hoping, her stomach is fine... :-)