First Culture

I Went On A Date With A Libyan | Suama Abiatar

He was handsome,  a travel agent or travel agency owner, or something. He does rental activities on the side and he offered to get me a lease to manage. He was an ambitious one that one. He hadn’t seen his family in a while, and didn’t seem to know when he would see them next.

This darkened his mood, and just once it gave me a glimpse of the downside of being an immigrant. He is of Islamic faith, but was not bothered about what religion I am. Did I mention he owns a language school? That’s what he does when he is not busy being an immigration consultant. We met for coffee, well I had coffee and he had whatever it is non-coffee drinkers drink on coffee dates.

He was lovely to talk to, appreciates the benefits that comes from meeting strangers and hearing their life stories. Before we could call it a night, he invited me to go camping with his next touring group. I did not have the nerve to tell him how much I fear camping, so I laughed it off as he walked me home.

We met for coffee…..well I had coffee and he had whatever it is non-coffee drinkers drink on coffee dates.

He was punctual, waiting for me outside the restaurant where we are waiting to have dinner. This was a difficult one to get down, time wise. I was busy at work and he too has a life. The intended coffee became dinner, but his mind was still thinking coffee. The day was too long, and I was not really interested enough to not have dinner. He just traveled to Namibia he says, to see a girl.

I tried to find the romantic streak in that. “The education system is amazing. The people are very kind. The informal settlements are cleaner and just so much better then South Africa’s”. He really learnt a lot in just 5 days. The sarcasm was lost on him and I just didn’t care enough to correct him. He finds me open enough to be himself he said; I didn’t seem to like this self-much, but I am too nice to leave early.

My dinner had arrived and he had just finished all the complimentary bread we got. I offered him a share of my plate, because let’s face it, no one likes bread that much. He told me of his humble beginnings, it’s taught to only own one house in suburbia and a beach house, but then again what do you expect when your dad is a big corporate guy, they never can get it right those guys.

Photo Credit: Ray Isle

I found myself rolling my eyeballs for what was perhaps the 20th time on the date. He drove me home, in a not seemingly modest car, and told me it was amazing and we need to do it again, I for one thought I had never used the words, “that’s interesting” that much in one night and continued to regret not eating in.

He is a social sciences scholar, although he believes himself so much more profound than the word science. He is a Research Associate as well and tells me he must get through 150 books before he can become another level of teaching that really went over my head. To me you are either a lecturer or professor, and the exception to the rule is either’s assistant Academic. I am stupid where Academia is concerned, and my blissful ignorance about sums up my interest.

I met him for an Ethiopian dinner. I got there 20 minutes late and could not help but notice the annoyance on his face. He continued to tell me the history of the place, more stories on Ethiopian food from his travels and the friends he knows. He told me about his research and the projects he is involved in. it was not lost on me how much we gravitate towards talking about him more. I admit I liked his social justice cause more. He told me of the non-profit work he was doing with the resettled communities in the Cape Town metropolis, and how he thought the homeless are very misunderstood.

One bottle of wine later over great Ethiopian cuisine, we joined the Cape Minstrels (Kaapse Klopse). The festival spirit was euphoric and the new year spirit just as enthralling. We decided to take advantage of the joyful noise and walk through it to a vibrant Kloof street and home.

One out of the three was a great date. I think about these odds and swear to stay off dating, until next time, or until I find myself talked into a double date by Anni……

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Suama` Abiatar

Suama` Abiatar

Suama is an adult interrupted, who has found solace in writing about the confusion.

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I Went On A Date With A Libyan | Suama Abiatar

by Suama` Abiatar time to read: 3 min