Amos Kinbote is an Al-Dounian émigré, presently working full-time at the American Dream, a fast food chain with locations all across the States. He’s so good at it that he was awarded employee of the month twice in a row, a first in his Queens franchise. He earns less than minimum wage, but is often reminded that he can eat all he wants. Although his landlord does not accept fries as payment, Amos is grateful to have his job, and delights in making customers feel welcome. His own arrival stateside was greeted with less than open arms, but Amos is not the type to complain.
In letters back home, he swaps facts for fables to appease his mother’s worries about his well-being and financial situation. Amos left Al-Dounia in order to make a name for himself in America, but quickly learned that it would be harder than he’d imagined. The Al-Dounian currency isn’t worth much outside the African nation, which nobody he meets has heard of. Despite being of royal descent, he’s had to start over and work his way up—a fact he’s as proud of as his heritage. “This is the way it’s done in America!” he says. Last month, on the annual casual Friday, he swapped his work uniform for royal regalia inherited from his great-grandfather, a decision he now regrets. Customers mocked his outfit and he quickly became known as the Nigerian prince, a moniker he found confusing as he is not of Nigerian origin. “I don’t mind, I’ve been called a lot worse,” he says. Ever humble, he apologizes for his sartorial choice, “I shouldn’t have worn it. In America, it's the customer who's king.”