Jay Shirley

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The Daily Practice

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The fascination with the obscure.

Published: 25 Oct 2011

Recently we went out for Tapas. The server had an accent I couldn’t place. It sounded familiar, but quite different. It reminded me almost of a Romanian accent, except latino and speaking Spanish.

Eventually I had to ask. “Cuba”, she said. I was shocked. I’ve never met anybody from Cuba. I’ve met people who grew up in the US and parents lived in Cuba. This was a first.

I was very amazed by this.

I immediately wanted to know how she got here. What was the journey like. Now, I didn’t ask her these questions. I should have, but she’s working. I don’t want to intrude. She probably has recounted these stories over and over again.

I’m genuinely interested in it though. I’d love to hear about it. In talking about it with my wife, I said I should offer to take these intriguing people out to dinner. They pick the restaurants, and just talk about what brought them to that part in life.

I really think I need to try this sometime. After all, knowing other people’s life experiences is a good way of learning their life lessons. I just have to be attentive and listen.