Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Out in the open

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, will be familiar with the fear I have had of sub-continent men in Spain.

When it comes to men, in general, I haven't been the best with the whole 'live-and-learn' analogy; but in this particular context, I have been queen.

Passing off successfully as a South-American has kept me a good arms distance from my Pakistani, Bangladeshi cyber-café/vegetable-shop buddies in Madrid.

Until yesterday.

"Excuse-me madam, are you from India?" said the Pakistani owner of the Internet café around the corner from my house.

I waited a good 2-minutes before deciding how to answer this question, and incapable of lying, I said yes.

"NO FUCKING WAY" was the reaction I got. (Que coño dices!)

See, you need to keep in context that I have been frequenting this Pakistani-brotherhood-cyber-café for over 3-months now. It's the best one close to me, so I decided not to be anal about the birthplace of it's owners.

"Wow", he continues, still in state of utter bewilderment. "Do you speak Hindi?"

"Yes, of course I do," I replied sheepishly.

"So you have been eavesdropping on our conversations for three months!?" he says, thankfully with a smile.

I smiled back.

"So come to my house one day, I live just down the road," he continued, to which I almost replied "why the fuck would I want to do that?", before he said "meet my family, have tea with my wife, she gets lonely".


"I have been here for 14-years; we hardly meet people from our muluk. We would be delighted to have you around."

That was nice ay. Very straightforward and warm without the slightest tinge of threat.

So when I walked in today, of course instead of the Pakistani Uncle with kids, were his two young single Pakistani nephews. As if they knew I would be passing by!

"Namasteji! you are from India," one of them says in Urdu.

"Yes," I say, as neutrally as I could without sounding rude but being clear I don't have time for a chat.

Of course, that vibe wasn't picked up on, and the next thing I know is that he has pulled up a chair and is sitting next to me. Great.

Anyway, 5-minutes into the chat I think he got the hint. But he wasn't being a pain. He was just curious.

Overall I got a good vibe. Maybe one day I will take them up on the offer of passing by their house, perhaps not for tea, but definitely for the home made biryani!
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