The Immigrant

I had a passionate conversation this morning with my taxi driver. He is from Eritrea, a small African country that once was a part of Ethiopia.

He has been in the US since 1971 (way too long he sighs) and he is just biding his time until his 2 sons finish college so he can finally stop driving a cab. He has 2 more years to go. He is tired. He is going back home on vacation in December for 2 months and he cannot wait. The dancing, the drinking, fun he will have with friends and family.

He though laments the fact that those back home think the grass in the US is much greener. Since hearing that he is coming home, he has received several requests for things he should bring home. One person had $500 worth of stuff on their list. Another wanted an iPhone. “I don’t even have an iPhone” he laughed. “They don’t understand how hard it is here; to them I am the guy with the money.” He works from 7 am until night. But he will try and do what he can to take most of the things back home.

I understand his plight. I’ve seen it all my life. The life of an immigrant, doing what he can to better the lives of those he loves.