Coming back into the city on the bus from Washington, DC earlier today (we were only stuck in traffic once we got into the city; 20 minutes to go 5 blocks) I saw a street vendor cover his wares with plastic, carefully unfurl a prayer rug, remove his shoes, and then pray toward the East. It was strange, and beautiful, to watch from the silence of the bus, imagining him focusing on the sacred amidst the cacophony of the profane (Black Friday crowds and traffic jamming the streets near Macy's).
I'm currently reading JMCoetzee'sDiary of a Bad Year, and remembering that Coetzee is really quite a stunning writer. This clever little tale of deceit has three simultaneous threads that can be followed individually, but that create a crackling experience together. He is absolutely at his cagey finest in this book, creating (or perceiving?) a doppelganger that cannot be pinned down. Many will react strongly to the "Strong Opinions" section of the book, and I suspect that this will turn many off, but patience is a virtue in this case, and those that stay for the duration will be rewarded. I like a good curmudgeonly jab at one's critics!