The food is pretty good and the place is on somewhat of a crossroads. You never know who you are going to meet.
Last night I was seated next to an interesting family that was traveling. A husband, wife and a couple of kids. I chatted with them briefly. The kids were very well behaved and my curiosity got the best of me. I sensed they were not native to this country.
It was a Kenyan father, an Indian mother and a pair of typical American kids with good parents. Actually I was surprised to find the father was from Kenya as he looked more Arab than what I expected a Kenyan to look like.
It was an interesting family and I wish them well.
The Egyptian born owner was sitting in a corner with his family and saw me head to the men's room. On the way out he asked me how I was doing. He knows I am a ham and asked me if I had made any middle east contacts lately. I had and he seemed pleased.
He's got a great son who busts his ass in the family business like he should in addition to being a full-time engineering student. I knew he was sharp the minute I set eyes on him a couple of years ago and I'd bet that if he gets a full time job when he graduates he's still going to pitch in on the family business.
They are that kind of people. They work hard and they're grateful to be in business.
For many immigrants the American dream is to own one's own business and these guys are doing it, and doing it well.
The woman that seated me was a Palestinian and had been in this country three months. I asked her where she had learned English and she replied, "On the job" which shocked me because she was already fairly fluent.
It is interesting to note that I have dealt with a number of people of Arabic ancestry here and for some reason they learn English well and don't drag an Arabic accent along with them.
On the way out the guy next to me was finishing a cell conversation and when he hung up he said to himself, "Glad I have a good flight crew." I grinned at him and asked him if he was an officer or enlisted man.
"Flight attendant," he replied. "What do you know about Paris?"
"I don't like them," I said. "They hate Americans and in your case they will likely hate you on two accounts. What part of Africa can you tell them you are from?"
"I suppose I could pass as a Nigerian," he said. "They don't like Americans, do they."
"Nope," I answered. "And don't bother speaking a single word of French because if you don't speak perfect Parisian they'll snub you."
"Incidentally, try passing yourself off as a Nigerian doing business there. It'll likely make it a little more palatable. If you can get out of that city go to Normandy where they like Americans."
"They like us there?" he asked.
"Yeah, they do," I replied. "I wore a 4th ID pin and they assumed I was the son of a GI that came ashore there in June of '44. They treated me well."
"Thanks," he said.
I travel frequently and this type of experience is not new to me. I am constantly running into people of different backgrounds when I travel and I have noticed one thing. We all seem to get along pretty well.
There's actually a pretty good reason for this. It is because someone malicious jerk like like Al Sharpton or some governmental idiot isn't there to show us how different we are.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: