Friday, June 16, 2006

Moment #604. French/Hausa. Fri, Jun 16, 2006.

06/16/2006. After leaving the previous middle-eastern store, I headed to a restuarant not too far away. I hadn't tried it before. I didn't know what kind of food it was, but I supposed middle-eastern. I went in, and saw that it was set up as a buffet, and had food typical of what I've seen at other Indian restaurants.

It looked like the operation was set up more for catering and special events than a restaurant that is open to the public, but it was open, and one employee was on duty. It shared a cross-over door with the middle-eastern store next door.

I was the only customer there. The one employee on duty attended to me, but was super busy in back, so I didn't bother offering him any material. I might go back with a date sometime.

After eating I went to the store next door, and tried to figure out what I wanted to buy to add to my food storage. Two black men came in, and passed in front of me and talked to the butcher in back. They were dressed in urban hip-hop style clothing, but looked African, spoke a foreign language to each other, and spoke English to the middle-eastern butcher.

The one knew the butcher and introduced his friend from Africa. The second man made eye contact with me while his friend was speaking one-on-one with the butcher. It seemed appropriate, so I asked him where he was from, and he said Niger. I asked, in French, if he spoke French, and he did. I then asked, in French, if he spoke Hausa, and he did. He was surprised that I knew about Hausa.

I offered him free books from church in French and Hausa, and he was genuinely interested. I didn't want to disrupt the business, and he agreed for us to go outside for the presentation. I asked him to wait on the sidewalk, while I retrieved the books from my car. He immediately started flipping through them, and was enthusiastic about them.

We chit-chatted a bit more, then we both went back in and finished our shopping.


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