The Tale of Two Awkwards
The blog now averages out over a hundred reads a day. Which is in itself remarkable given how much non sense and beer infested, sleep deprived, coffee survived stuff I plague this place with.
So while scots are busy pondering over the decision on whether to press the liberating yes or flag- saving no button, I have been taking evening language courses these days and trying to talk in as much Korean as I possibly can. To be honest, I wouldn’t have, or rather, the balls to speak the language of a country that I have resided for four plus years but these innocent looking night lectures have raised my hopes of finally being able to make sense of what comes out of my mouth.
And what comes out of other’s mouth, of course. It’s not because the classes are inherently helpful themselves, but these lessons have substantially helped me to convince myself that my Korean isn't as shit as most people say it is. Or what I thought it was. The writing test scores are still horrible (they really are), but I can role play the shite of situation that’s bestowed upon me ever so kindly. I had almost forgot how vastly different engineering and language classes can truly be.
Add the fact that you meet a vibrant, eager and interesting bunch of strangers who are no longer strangers because you had a not-so-fluent Korean chat with them, and things start looking something rather different in life. Unfortunately though, when someone just pops in front of you thinking that you know him already and starts to smile and talk in a language you are supposed to talk in, things can get a bit..how can I put this..
Well….it’s not for the first time I have failed to recognize someone from my small little Himalayan nation. Upon having nothing to do during my freshman winter vacation, I joined the massively laborious ranks of a Halal Bangladeshi discount supermarket workforce, which, suffice to say, was not something I looked forward to when I went to bed every night, let alone dream about it. The rationale was that it was better than getting paid next to nothing, being a couch potato at home and additionally, getting to devour chunks of well cooked chicken tandoori for lunch and dinner instead of raw fish and tasteless canteen chiggaes. In short, basically it made basic sense to go do basic labor work.
So this one day, while stacking up a curry masalas and cumin wholes on the shelf, this one guy pops up in right front of me (I have to start questioning my ability to see people coming at me) and asks whether I knew where the Almond hair oil was located. I knew and I gave him the directions.
He nodded and asked me if I knew if the fresh cauliflowers had arrived. I knew so I told him honestly they had not.
This was all happening in Hindi.
As the conversation dragged longer than expected, we both came to a point where we realized that our Hindi was as that of a five year old trying to utter his/her first hindi words and that there was a subtle underlying tone that was strangely familiar to both of us.
Then it suddenly dawned upon us; we were fellow countrymen.
Talk about being awkward.