everyday beardality 2

Today near the end of the long desolate stretch of highway that takes me to a market I frequent (the only businesses along it are a cluster of fruit stands and a small series of bars that don’t open until the sun goes down) I saw a pair of Obviously Not From Around Here. Often, obvious foreigners I meet in places that don’t cater aggressively to our kind will offer a greeting, or else just a nod of acknowledgment, and I’ve started slipping into the habit myself. So I tilted my head just-so to these two gentleman, only to have one of them stop in his tracks and offer a hello that carried such forceful cheer that it stopped me in my own.

Hi, I said.

He asked me where I was from, then told me they were from Liberia.

It’s their second day in town. They’re just up from Bangkok and already they like it more here. Tomorrow they plan to go to Doi Suthep, but right at that moment they were just looking for downtown.

I said just keep going straight and you’ll hit the corner of the Old City. Then go more east than south, you’ll find more of interest.

He told me he had many American friends, then that he had suspected I was from Canada, because of my beard (he placed his open hand over his chin instead of using the word).

“I thought you must be from far north, because it’s cold in the north.”

I realized later that it was the longest english conversation I have had in at least five days.

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~ by ironcupshrug on 11/25/2009.

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