30 sec reading: The black man

dining hall university

Por Rosa Montero

We are at the restaurant of a German University. A red haired student, and undeniably German takes her tray and sits down at her table.
She then realizes she has forgotten her cutlery and gets up again to pick it up. Coming back, she sees with astonishment that a black man, possibly sub-Saharian by his appearance, is sitting there and is eating from her tray.

Straight away, the young woman feels lost and stressed . But immediately changes her thought and presumes that the African is not familiar with European customs concerning private property and privacy. She also takes into consideration that perhaps he does not have enough money to pay for his meal.

In any case, she decides to sit in front of the guy and to smile at him in a friendly manner. The African responds with another dazzling smile. The German girl starts to help herself, –sharing the food with the black man with genuine pleasure and courtesy. And thus, he took the salad, she ate the soup, both took their share of the stew, one took care of the yoghurt and the other of the piece of fruit. All this peppered with numerous refined smiles – timid from the man and smoothly, encouraging and kind by the girl.

They eat up their lunch. The German girl gets up to get a coffee. And it is then that she discovers, on the table behind the black man, her coat placed on the back of a chair and her food tray untouched.

taken from Paulo Coelho’s blog

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9 responses to “30 sec reading: The black man

  1. I really can’t imagine what she felt back then…ashamed?embarrassed? I wished she had apologized for that and explained herself…wow…I would collapsed and broke out…

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