Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Uncomfortable "Cultural" Moments

Man: You are from India?
Me: Yes, yes I am.
Woman: Have you ever seen that movie, Monsoon Wedding?
Me: Yes, many times.
Man: It's sort of like Bend it like Beckham, right?
Me: No, it's nothing like Bend It like Beckham, but they both do have brown people.
Man: **nervous, pink-faced chuckling**
Woman: Do you have like chai tea?
Me: umm..we have tea?
Woman: Yeah, but I'm looking for chai tea...
Me: Well, chai is really tea in Hindi. So what I am hearing is "do you have tea tea?"
Woman: yeah, there's a chai brand here though...
Me: Yeah, that's stupid.
Woman: oh...
Woman: So...you're from India?
Me: Yes, yes I am.
Woman: Where in India?
Me: I'm from the south, but I grew up in Bombay.
Woman: Isn't it Moombye?
Me: Yes, but I don't call it that.
Woman: Oh really? (inquisitive eye-brow raising I choose to ignore.) Have you seen the Taj Mahal?
Me: No, actually I never have.
Woman: Oh why not? I would think it would be easy for you.
Me: Yes, I guess you would. I wasn't a tourist, I just lived there.
Woman: **awkward laughing**
Man: You should do something about those pavement-dwellers in Moombye. They have a rough life. I saw it on PBS. Pavement-dwellers.
Me: **laughing, and trying hard not to**


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