Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Odyssey of an Immigrant American 5, Louis Adamic

Odyssey of an Immigrant American 5, Louis Adamic

On the way back to the pier, going down a steep stair-
street, we came upon a tall, splendidly proportioned girl,
dark-haired and blue-eyed, clad in an agreeably colorful
medley of several south-Dalmatian costumes, among which
the local Ragusan dress predominated. On her head she
balanced a great basket of something or other; perhaps of
wash for one of the modern houses above the old town.
The basket seemed a part of her. She walked and swaved
from her hips. Her arms were bare and firm. One of them
she held akimbo. In the other hand she carried a bunch of
goldern-rain blossoms. She slowed her pace to look at us;
possibly Stella'American dress interested her.
I said, "Dobar dan!(Good day!)"
"Dobar dan!" she returned, smiled--again one of those smiles
to which words cannot do justice--and stopped. Are you nashki?
(of our nationality?)"
"I was born in Slovenia," I said, "but went to America
as a young boy. My wife is American."
"So!" said the girl, eagerly. "An uncle of mine is in America.
He is a fisherman in Louisiana, where the great river Mees-sees
-seep-pee," she syllabicated, "falls into the ocean." She smiled
all the while.
"She is beautiful," said Stella. "What a body!"
I translated, "My wife says you are beautiful and you have
a fine body."
The girl's smile widened and deepened, and her and neck colored.
"Hvala liepa!" she said. "Please tell your American wife that
she is beautiful."
I told Stella what the girl had said. Then from the bunch
she carried the girl handed her several twigs of golden-rain
and, without saying anything, went on up the stairs.
I had a sudden feeling that I would like Yugoslavia,
her people; that, perhalps, even my visit home would be more
a pleasure than an ordeal.

Odyssey of an Immigrant American 2, Louis Adamic
Copyright(c) Shouzou Tahara
Odyssey of an Immigrant American 5, Louis Adamic

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