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#16 May 7th, 2016, 10:57
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  • JOHNLORD is offline
#16
Reminds me of when I first moved to India, I used to go to a shop everyday, and everyday I used to get asked a bunch of questions.

One day, I walked out looked up at the name board and walked back in. They were asking what happened. I said I was just making sure that it was a shop and not a police station I had accidentally walked into.

They got the hint, no more questions.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.
#17 May 7th, 2016, 13:28
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#17
Quote:
Bring out a book or your phone and start reading or browsing.
I find this a great way to open conversation. From out of the woodwork people with some literary or scholarly interest will pop out. Where there is not much English spoken pulling out a Devanagari drill book and working through it creates a warm cushion around me as people chat away and gently correct my errors. For family questions I stumbled onto a new strategy. I reply would you like to see them? I Skype them (buy a decent data plan). Life's a party when they answer. Make the crowd your friends insulating you from the culture shock. Gad, I gotta get back..
#18 May 7th, 2016, 14:18
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#18
I'm sure people are quite happy to be rude in their home countries: why do they worry so much about India?

There's just as much rudeness here as anywhere else. Join in!

John... that's a great story!

Nobody asks me questions any longer --- they ask my [Indian] wife instead. She gets really fed up with it, and has no qualms about telling people that what we do, how much I earn, how we live, is no business of theirs!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#19 May 7th, 2016, 14:50
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#19
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I'm sure people are quite happy to be rude in their home countries: why do they worry so much about India?

There's just as much rudeness here as anywhere else. Join in!

John... that's a great story!

Nobody asks me questions any longer --- they ask my [Indian] wife instead. She gets really fed up with it, and has no qualms about telling people that what we do, how much I earn, how we live, is no business of theirs!
For people (of non Indian origin) settled here, in most cases part of their life is an open book, for example I have seen an article about you, and an article about Jerimiah.

Ps. When I pulled the Police station stunt, my wife thought it was very rude.
#20 May 7th, 2016, 14:56
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#20
Laughs nervously at NONINDIANRESIDENT because thats it exactly the spiralling pit of confusion , secrets and lies and questioning . It literally gave me a panic attack
#21 May 7th, 2016, 15:36
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#21
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It literally gave me a panic attack
I suppose that is one way of being off-putting to the questioners!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNLORD I have seen an article about you, and an article about Jerimiah.
What? Where? Well... there have been one or two, usually in connection with the music world in December.

The trouble is that, at first, we like the attention. The last time I was nabbed by a journalist among the concert crowd, "We are doing an article on foreigners who come here for the music season," I just told him I was not the droid he was looking for: I don't come here for the music season, I'm here all the time and going to concerts all year.
#22 May 7th, 2016, 15:40
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#22
For me, invariably the first question is: "What is your country?" I then say "Swisserland. And what is yours?" In this way the asking immediately turns around. I get into control of the conversation. Since people like "Swisserland", I start to tell them about the advantages of India and what I like here. Since Indians are often in a fix between national pride and over-deprecation of the short-comings of their country, they seem to feel really touched by my (genuine) praise of it. In this way the conversation veers more in the direction of a kind of reflection of experience, rather than just the dishing out of raw data.

For many Indians, talking with a foreigner adds to their pride of accomplishment for the day. So I like to give them that experience, rather than responding apprehensively or irritated. I act the same way with touts. This turns out pleasant for both sides.
#23 May 7th, 2016, 15:49
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#23
People do sometimes ask me where I come from. I tell them the name of my Chennai suburb. Sometimes they enquire, sometimes I may even volunteer that my mother country is UK. I'm not unfriendly; I quite like a quick chat. I'll happily tell people that I have an Indian wife, grown-up step-children and I've been here ten years. That tends to be the end of the conversation. Perhaps I'm not as interesting as a real visitor!

Be friendly. it's good! But don't be any more friendly than you want to be.
#24 May 8th, 2016, 16:33
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#24
The trick is to have fun with it. When I am asked " what country from", I answer Botswana or whichever country pops into my head. As a second defence, I generally can name the capital city of the country I have said I am from but not always. Most will then scan their memory bank about the country and come up blank. I think they have already pidgeon holed me as Aust, English or American and are surprised but believe whatever you tell them. The more obscure the country the better. Cheers. Zamba.
#25 May 8th, 2016, 21:18
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#25
Many times when I was asked where I was from I would say my mother and father
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#26 May 8th, 2016, 21:24
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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#26
When I reply "Greece" it is quite obscure enough.

"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to row the boat."
(Jean-Paul Sartre)
#27 May 8th, 2016, 22:04
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#27
<off topic>

That last post makes me think there can be a whole thread titled 'What country, saar?'. There are a few countries certainly that are top of the mind recall for Indians - UK would certainly top, US might be second (I'm excluding the immediate neighbors on purpose).
#28 May 8th, 2016, 22:15
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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#28
I have told the story before of how, on a slow train in Odisha, our travel companion (in first class non A/C ) enquired "where is Greece?"; to which Mr theyyamdancer replied "near Egypt ". The guy then said "ah that's why you both enjoy this heat here in India"........
#29 May 8th, 2016, 22:21
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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#29
I have also recounted before on Indiamike how we got rid of New Market touts in Kolkata:

Tout: "one sari ma'am? "

Me: "lagbe na" (no need)

Tout: "come see my uncle 's shop saar"

Mr TD: "does he sell helicopters"

Tout: "???"

Mr TD "we must reach the airport fast. One helicopter! Are you selling?"

Exit tout.
#30 May 8th, 2016, 23:24
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#30
There are many atheists in India too. Especially in the communist lands of Kerala and West Bengal.

It's not only the tourists who get annoyed with these questions! They can be equally annoying to someone born in India too!

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