Thursday, June 11, 2009
He began to laugh at my old, laminated library card before I could finish saying, "Hi, I'm here to turn in my old card for a new one," but it was a friendly, gently mocking, deep-voiced laugh.
"Yes, I can see that," he said, laughing through the words. I detected a French-speaking African accent and giggled sheepishly.
We both laughed the whole time I was at the desk. He explained the electronic card catalogue, and assured me I could still use the help desk if I found it too confusing. I smiled and said I thought I could handle it. He handed me a brochure on how to use the library, trying to keep a straight face while saying, "it's for new patrons, but because you have been gone for so long..." He soon gave up the charade and let himself trail off into chuckles.
As I was leaving I asked him, "Are you by any chance from Ghana?" It was the first French-speaking African country I could think of.
"No, Nigeria. You were close, though." And this time, the laugh was appreciative.