So I was at Starbucks tonight with my friend Katherine. We, and sometimes others, meet there every Tuesday to knit and share stories from the parental trenches.
These 4 guys walk in. I immediately think "They're Ethiopian." Then I spent the next 5 minutes trying to talk myself out of my first impression. Why would there be 4 Ethiopian men in my small-town Starbucks on a TUESDAY at 8:55 p.m.? Do I think all non-ferenge (Ferenge: what Ethiopians call light skinned people... means roughly "foreigner") are Ethiopian? I tried to hear them talking. Was that an accent? Yes. Well, maybe they are from somewhere else in Africa. Nope, I can't shake it... they've GOT to be Ethiopian. Can't explain it... they LOOK Ethiopian.
So I get up the nerve and ask them. Yes, indeed they are from Ethiopia. I tell them about our children and ask how they happen to be HERE of all places. Well, they're on their way from Minneapolis to Chicago. (Ok, yes, that makes sense... our SB is right off the interstate.) The 2 younger men speak accented, but very good English. The 2 older men, both missing some teeth, nod and smile and squint... not understanding. They perk up when we talk about Addis Ababa. They ask about our children and how they are adjusting.
We shake hands and part. And I'm in awe of the total random (or not?) meeting with 4 Ethiopian men who happened to stop in for coffee during the 1 hour I was there.
And now I'm kinda kicking myself, because a couple of weeks ago a couple of women and a small girl came in and I had that same feeling... that they were Ethiopian. I didn't say anything to them, because why would Ethiopians be in MY SB on a Tuesday? Guess I will ask from now on. :)