Last evening I met up an ex-student, and now a dear friend, H for coffee. When we walked out of the restaurant, H walked me to my motorcycle. We stood there for another couple of minutes, chatting.
Suddenly I sensed movement to my right. I turned to find this roly-poly, fair guy in blue jeans and a red-striped T-shirt standing about two feet away from me to my right. At the same time as I turned to look, he leaned in and unabashedly stared at me ! I was so taken aback ! I looked him in the eye and said, “Excuse me ?” Then he straightened up, stepped back, smiled at me and said, “Sorry…sorry…” as he retreated.
Assuming he had mistaken me for somebody else, I smiled back and muttered, “Its OK”…only to be completely thrown off-balance by what he said next ! As he walked away, he offered, as an explanation, “I thought you were a foreigner”.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HUH ????? WHAT ?????
H & I doubled over with laughter. I laughed so loudly and so hard that tears started streaming down my cheeks.
Well…by Indian standards, I can be termed fair, and when I wear a scarf (which I was, at that time), sometimes I do look Parsi…or even east-European…with my high cheek-bones. So, that I might have seemed like a foreigner to him, doesn’t surprise me that much. But his whole demeanour…the way he came close, leaned in, stared hard and to top it all, his punch-line cracked us up totally !
After a few minutes when our laughter subsided a bit, H and I were indignant and mirthful at the same time.
So, despite the intense humour you managed to create in our lives and despite giving us a neat anecdote to share with all and laugh about, I still have some (well-meaning) advice to offer to you, Mr. Roly-Poly Red T-Shirt ! Here it is:
1) No matter what, you DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stare at foreigners. They are simply from another country, NOT another planet. In fact, you simply DO NOT stare at people. It is bad manners.
2) And, should you want to take a long, hard, look at somebody, NEVER do it in so obvious a manner. Here’s what you could do - Walk past that person a couple of times and cast glances at them. They will know that you are ‘checking them out’ but not get offended / startled / freaked out.
And I also have something else to say to you…
“Dude !!! Seriously !!!! HUH ????? WHAT ?????”