Fernando did not look like what I thought a refugee should look like. He was fat, for one thing. The beige polyester suit he wore was tight on him, especially around the belly. He reeked of cologne. He had one gold front tooth and around his neck was a matching gold chain. The pendant dangling from the chain appeared to be a phallus.
When we stepped into my house, fragrant with the aroma of pumpkin pie and roasting turkey, he grinned broadly. My students, obediently gathered for the occasion, looked up from their happy chatter and returned his grin with nervous smiles. Their Spanish was better than mine, so I felt no remorse in leaving Fernando to converse with them while I retreated to the kitchen to mash potatoes.