Sandra finally made it to her own home. The place was downtown.She left her car two blocks from downtown, and rode the train into the city the rest of the way, as their was no parking near her building.
She would enter her own home and see Hedgi, her Ethiopian boyfriend and feel surrounded by goodness.
She liked seeing him coming home and studying over difficult dental terms and hygiene. He was studying to be a Dentist. He'd want something to eat and Sandra would have it prepared since the morning.
They'd invite a couple friends over from the adjacent apartment. They could barely have any of their family or outside friends over,as parking near the building was never available, and the security in the building was tight.
But when they did have friends they'd crack up the whole night on English dental terms, and their meanings that they thought were humorous, yet innocent enough.
Laughing and eating Ethiopian wet, having a chance to look up the words on the Lab top, which stood arms length on a T tray.
They would look up the words, while they sat on the floor, in their accustomed eating position wiping their right hand they ate with, so as not touch the keyboard keys. And they'd find the meaning of the new word.
They'd want Sandra to make tea and she'd due it, dutifully, but they would laugh at the idea that she served only black Lipton tea in tea bags, forgetting to dampen the tea from the tea bag so the tea always came off as real dark. When she had her boyfriend, Hedgi's Ethiopian friends over, they always found Sandra so humorous at that time. Her apartment style was just so different from their own.
They'd ask themselves,
Why had she kept the one bright rounded light in the living room, instead of getting new lamps?
Why did she have random carpets that didn't match?
And what was up with the one blue, love seat, with the pull out leg rest?
Surely this type of furniture was American, they thought
She'd return with more Ethiopian wet for them, and they'd take the whole pot from her, spooning the wet from the pot onto the injera until it was all gone.
They'd stay till 12, sometimes 2 in the morning, joking, laughing and watching Amharic, music videos. She was lucky they could afford the wireless Internet as it exposed her to the culture and then she'd finally began to understand, why they liked the furniture just so, what made her wearing plaid skirts so funny, and what made them laugh when she'd ask "What was an Ethopian man skirt, anyway?" and Why did so many of of her girlfriends/boyfriends wear them?
They did have Sandra's, American family over to dinner, and that was quite the show. Her mom thought the apartment was similar to a prison base, except the inhabitants were actually at work and doing some kinds of busy activity where later they'd return to the prison style apartment, at night. A security guard checked their guest in and Sandra always told them "Have your license plate number ready, with the year, make and model to your car and and write down for the security guard, when he asks."
When Sandra's mother visited her apartment, she was always fastidious about having all the details in place. Her mom, asked her why their was a shopping carts full of onions, tomatoes and apples left outside of the apartment, and Sandra told her that she had came back from the farmer's market and didn't have time to bring it in.
Her mom, looked at her father, with a questioningly look and just shrugged. They knew better to ask Sandra too many questions, they wanted to let Sandra know that they were comfortable with Sandra experimentation" that's what they called it, Sandra "dabbled", her mom told their church friends, when they asked why Sandra was seen wearing a head scarf down the street the other day.
Sandra's parents walked out of the apartment to the guard rails, and exclaimed "big" when they could see straight up to the 15th floor, and straight down to apartments lobby,. he apartment used to be a hotel now on one section of the guard rails you could see the second floor instead of the first with exercise equipment just inheriting the entire second floor. They mused over seeing an elderly woman in her late seventies walking the floors and staring across at them.