Bring a Big Knife to School

*re-posting this on September 8, 2014, in celebration of the essay being named a Notable Essay by Best American Travel Writing, the story was originally published in July, 2013.

Today I am sending you to The Smart Set by Drexel University to read Bring a Big Knife to School Thursdays about when Maggie asked for a knife for Christmas, when I teased my way out of purchasing an ashtray made of a naked couple copulating, and one of the times when I felt like though I will always be foreign maybe I belong in Djibouti, maybe I’ve learned some things.


This is the street in the market on which the story takes place, a little further up. In fact, this is the very day. That’s me in the black dress.

Read the full essay here Bring a Big Knife to School Thursdays.

p.s. My apologies for using, in the views of some, rather crude language in the last few essays. You will find yet another penis in this essay. I guess I say it like I see it.