Vesna Cvjetićanin was born in Yugoslavia and never imagined leaving it. However, in the early 1990s, she found herself moving to Australia with her young family, and has been living and working in Canberra ever since. A lawyer and public servant by profession, Vesna has recently delved back into the world of poetry that she loved so much in her adolescence, and is currently writing a book of poems called “15 Lines of Thoughts”.
A couple of weeks ago, I went for lunch and, aimlessly walking around the shopping centre, spotted a nice bunch of green bananas. “For Cooking”, said the note displayed next to the bunch.
‘Hey’, I thought, ‘that’s what they were talking about last night on the radio: green bananas are much better for our gut than the ripe, sweet yellow ones! I’ll go and get myself one!’
I walked into the shop and got myself one green banana. While waiting in the line, I suddenly remembered that I did not have any cash on me – only a credit card. ‘Ohhh!’ I thought, and said, semi-loudly to myself, “it looks like my plan for a healthy lunch is not to happen…”
A young woman with a baby in a pram, waiting in the line behind me said: “And why not?”
“Because I just remembered that this shop does not allow cards for amounts less than $10! And I have no cash on me…” I started to turn back to return the banana to the shelf when the woman said, “No worries, I’ll get you a banana!”
“Oh, my… are you sure?” I responded.
“Absolutely! I can get you one banana…”
And then, as one voice, we both said, “One good deed a day…” and then laughed at the spontaneous uttering of the same words.
“I hope someone does the same for me one day,” she said.
“I hope it would be me… but I am going overseas for three months and we’ll probably forget about each other by then… but I won’t, as you were so kind.”
“Oh! Where are you going?”
“Overseas. A driving and walking holiday.”
“Sounds nice. With the family?”
“This time only my husband and I.”
“If I may ask,” the woman continued as we progressed in the queue, “are you from Yugoslavia?”
“Yes! How did you know?” I asked her.
“My mother is from there, and she has the same accent,” she laughed.
“Oh, you see? There is something innately good in us Yugoslavs,” I commented as I approached the counter.
She stood in front of me and paid for the banana. It cost $0.69.
“Thank you so much!” I said.
“No worries, you’re welcome!”
And as I was exiting the shop, she called after me:
“Sve najbolje!” (“All the best!”)
I waved back to her.
What a nice little snippet of human interaction.
© Vesna Cvjetićanin, 2017