Article #10 in the ESL Student Life Story Project, by Faisal from Saudi Arabia, age 28
In July of 2009, I met President Obama.
The meeting was simple and very fast.
I simply introduced myself and asked Obama, “Could I sit in your chair in the Oval Office of the White House?”
Obama shook his head in humor, and, smiling, said, “OK!”
And then I was sitting in the chair of the President of the strongest country in the world, with Obama at my side!
Sorry about my white lie in the first two paragraphs.
Actually, this all took place in Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London and the President I met was made of wax.
When I studied in England last summer during a break from teaching Mathematics in Saudi Arabia, I asked my friend, “Would you like to go with me to the museum?”
My friend replied, “I don’t like any museums. If you go to another place, I will go with you.”
I told him Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is different.
“You will feel good when you put first foot in it,” I said.
But I didn’t give him any more information about the museum, because I wanted him to be surprised.
After one hour, my friend decided to go with me. Then we hurried to take the bus to Madam Tussaud’s.
When we arrived, I saw the longest line of my life in front of the museum gate. If we got in the line I worried the museum would close before we arrived!
Yet, my friend surprised me at this moment. He insisted we go into inside to see why all the people came.
When we got in line, two Saudi tourists said, “Come in front us if you want!”
Some people behind us became angry, but the Saudis told them, “All of us Saudis want to gather. The saying is: “ارفع راسك انت سعودي,” which means, “Saudis help each other.”
After we got inside the museum, we saw even more people than outside!
We started touring around.
After walking more, my friend opened his mouth in so much surprise.
He repeatedly bothered me by crying out, “Fasial! Faisal! Take my photo with this and these!”
The museum has many exhibitions of wax statues of famous people.
These sections include: Royalty, Sports Stars, Pop Stars, Hollywood Stars, Bollywood stars, TV stars, Cultural Figures, Fashion…
…and of course, World Leaders, where I “met” Obama.
After we arrived back home, my friend and I compared our hundreds of photos.
I laughed at him, “At first you didn’t want to go to the museum at all, but now you have 20 more photos than I do!”
And my friend smiled.
Lillie’s Note: Please leave Faisal a comment or question on his great article (and photos!) stating your geographical location.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!