If you’re feeling unmotivated…
Last night I parle-ed le francais avec le taxi driver Senegalese. He corrected me after every sentence; such is the way of the francophones. I told him I had seen a lot of his people in Paris and Rome, selling fake designer bags for “good price, just for you!” He told me that France is very racist, and if you do anything wrong they check vous papiers and deport!
Then I asked him if he liked New York. We discussed le racism aux Etats-Unis, and he told me he hadn’t felt any. “Have you heard about the noose incident? Je pense qu’elle did it herself, she is a professeuse du psychologie!” He laughed. He told me that in New York, as long as you work hard, no one really cares who you are. You will make it on your own.
Finally, I asked him about Senegal. “Senegal, it’s like any place, you work to survive. If you do not work, you do not survive.” I told him that in America, there are beaucoup de people qui are spoiled parce que their parents have beaucoup d’argent $$$. Ils pense que they are entitled to not have to work. “Do your parents have beaucoup d’argent?” he asked. “Now they do, I guess, and je pense que je suis spoiled.”
He really put it in perspective for me. I tipped him 33%. I should have tipped him more, but I’m broke.