I entered a Starbucks coffeeshop. Almost all the tables were busy, except a round two-person table at the corner of the hall.
As I was taking off my jacket to hang it on the back of the chair, I noticed a girl sitting at the table just behind me. Without blinking she was looking at the screen of her MacBook Air [“what a nice laptop,” I thought. “If I make enough money this summer, I will get one for myself”]. Her hair was brownish and curly, her glasses were black-framed, and her neck was long and thin. Her dress was dark green with white flower patterns on it.
I sat with my back to her. Put my tablet in front of me, opened magoosh.com in Google Chrome, and started solving GMAT problems.
After a while, when I was busy watching lessons on my device, I heard somebody mention with a clear American accent ‘Uzbekistan’: “…we have one guy from Uzbekistan and…” It was that girl, talking on the phone with somebody.
Although I got really curious [because not very often I meet the Western people who talk about my country], I didn’t turn around or ask anything from her. “It would be rude of me to do so,” I figured.
After around half an hour I looked at my watch and realized that it was time for me to go. I stood up quietly, put my devices and papers into my bag, and when I turned around to take my jacket from the chair… our eyes met. For a split second. Yet the eyes met. “This is the perfect time,” I thought.
She was focused on her laptop. “Excuse me,” I said to her, smiling. She had her headphones on, so she didn’t hear me. “Excuuuse me,” I said again, bending in order to catch her attention. She looked up at me. Took her headphones off. And said “I’m sorry?” with wide-opened surprised eyes.
“Can I ask you something?” I said, playfully.
“Yeah, sure,” she said, smiling.
“Where do you come from?”
“I come from…” she stopped for a couple of moments, looking down, as if pondering about something. “I’m half American, half Bulgarian,” she finally said, hesitating.
Then, she looked down again, thought about something and added [as if making an excuse]: “My mother is American, and my father is Bulgarian.”
Usually people don’t think long when you ask them where they come from. It is a simple question that doesn’t require pondering. Yet the curly-haired girl was hesitant.
[to be continued]