Sunday, March 29, 2009

An African Prince, The Santa Monica Pier, A Parking Space and a Question...

How do all these things fit together??

Here's the story:

"You Don't Act American..."

I have to say, this is the first time I have ever been told that!! Well I guess I have been told that I have an African soul before, but never that I didn't act American.

I mean, I have lived in America my entire life...I think it must be entirely impossible for me NOT to act American!

BUT never the's the story:

Yesterday I was meeting a friend at the Santa Monica Pier to hang out. Now if you have ever been to the pier around sunset on a Saturday you know that there is practically NO place to park!

So after about 30 minutes of circling I gave in and pulled my car into a $6 parking structure. I found the elevator and headed up to the first floor, expecting it to let out on the street somewhere. But to my surprise, when the elevator door opened, I was in an office building with a security guard sitting at a reception table. I took one step in...then decided I must be in the wrong place.

The guard, seeing my confusion, waved me over to his desk. I asked him if it was okay to park there if I was going to the pier...turns out I was in the right place after all.

The guard was African, so I decided to stay and chat awhile while I waited for my friend to arrive. Turns out he is a prince in one of the royal families from Cameroon and has only been here a year and a half to study medicine.

He asked if I had ever been to Africa and I told him all about my plans...that is when he asked me where I was from...

Stephen: "Are you an American"
Me: "Yeah"
Stephen: "You are?"
Me: "Yeah"
Stephen: "You don't act like an American"
Me: "I don't?"
Stephen: "Well, maybe when you thought you were lost in the acted like one because you were about to go back down without asking directions but now I see you do not act like one."
Me: "Why not?"
Stephen: "You don't act like them because they are all so busy, running around. They do not stop to talk to anyone, but you are here talking to me and you love Africa.
Me: "You are right"
Stephen: "Yes, I have determined it, you are not American in your heart"

Needless to say, he was a very cool guy. I saw him again and listened to some more stories as I came back to get my car later in the evening. He walked my friend and I down to our cars and as we drove up to the pay booth he had beat us to it, paying for both of our cars...

So that is my adventure with an African prince, working as a security guard, near the Santa Monica pier, who is convinced that I don't act like an American!

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