Tuesday, January 31, 2006


At the local CVS, I'm in line to buy the papers. The man behind the cash register is making conversation with a woman. Both are laughing and smiling. She takes her time before leaving the counter. I get there almost annoyed by all this lost time waiting but it is impossible not to notice the smile on the man's face. I tell him how nice it is to see such a large smile. To my surprise, his smile widens and he tells me that the woman before me spoke to him in his native tongue. "My language" he keeps saying, "my language". I asked him where he is from. "Nigeria". The woman spoke Ibo. "She is learning it" he says, shaking his head in disbelief. "She is not from there. She is from here. American. And she is learning my language!" His voice is filled with pride. "Can you believe this?" I forgot my bad humor about the time spent waiting in line. I smile at his obvious happiness. "Yes I can believe it" I answer, "this is America".
I asks him how to say "Thank you" in Ibo and leave, thanking him in Ibo and promising to come back to learn some more words.


Post a Comment

<< Home