My dad could talk to anyone. And did talk to anyone. He truly had the gift of the gab. Me, not quite so much. Too shy and introspective, sometimes just too disinterested.
Tonight, coming home from dinner with J (he had his bike to ride home), I got a taxi driven by an Ethiopian man. I know this because when I got in he changed the music station from one playing African music to Fox, and I told him he could turn it back. I then got up the courage to ask whether he was from Africa originally, which part – because he just said east, at first – and then I said something about having just read a little about Ethiopia, about when the Italians invaded.
We proceeded to chat for the whole ride home – only about 10 minutes, I grant you, but impressive for me nonetheless. Helped that he did most of the talking. Apparently, the reason why Jamaicans revere Hali Selase (?sp) so much is that he made it rain, when he visited during his round the world tour, including being the first black African leader (?) to visit the White House. And it seems he also had a mark on his palm like a stigmata.
Fascinating. Maybe I should try this random conversation thing more often.