Social Question

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Do you know any really diverse and colorful characters?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (21220points) March 16th, 2015

Examples of such people I have met – a Bulgarian lady barber married to an Italian construction worker. The experiences she has had could fill the pages of a book. A Nigerian witch doctor who has practised in Greece, Turkey and other countries. The list of such mixed and diverse people is endless. Do you know such interesting people?

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2 Answers

jerv's avatar

I’ve met quite a few in my life, including an old-school hippie who was at The Siege of Khe Sanh, and a Romanian machinist who escaped during the worst of the CeauČ™escu years.

thorninmud's avatar

Back in my days as a chocolatier, I met a guy who owned a restaurant in Florida and came to work at our place for a few days to see what he could learn. As I talked with him while dipping chocolates, these details of his life emerged:

He was raised in communist Hungary, but was a member of the Hungarian national judo team and managed to defect to the US during a tournament. Soon after arriving in New York and starting work as a dishwasher, he saw John Wayne in “The Green Berets” and decided to join the Green Berets. He passed the training and went to Vietnam, where he ended up fighting with CIA-affiliated forces. They faught with remote Montagnard tribal fighters in actions never publicly acknowledged by the military.

After the evacuation, he was left behind with a small team of saboteurs to destroy as much of the remaining military hardware as possible. His promised pick up never materialized, so he had to cross Vietnam and Cambodia on foot and undetected to Thailand. He was convinced that his superiors had had no intention of ever bringing him back.

Shortly after repatriation, he was sent on a secret CIA mission to Guyana in the immediate aftermath of the Jonestown massacres to hunt down those responsible.

After his discharge, he worked for many years at Digital Equipment Company, and then “retired” to run this restaurant, where he worked the kitchen mostly alone. He would occasionally close the place to travel the world working in famous kitchens to learn new techniques.

I’ve left out so much.

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