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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Culture #3: A Bit of Civilization

We are sitting around the table enjoying a leisurely Sunday evening (yes, I know the posting date is not Sunday, but this is a narrative so don’t bother with such minor details). Three of the boys next door are over. We’re drinking a bit of Grey Goose vodka, watching football on mute and shooting the shit. We’re talking about girls, of course. Us boys are comparing notes and Sonya is providing advice to their love lives (I stay quite, wanting to avoid said advising). One is the boys is letting Sonya SMS a girl he is seeing. I think he is very brave or perhaps naive. My laptop is providing background, set on random. On the TV Chelsea is playing Arsenal. One of the boys vocally prefers Arsenal. John (jokingly, but only semi) revokes his drink and asks him to leave. :-) I am taught the Kerala way of drinking vodka: you take a finger of South Indian pickle (a very spicy, sweet pickled something, quite excellent) with each sip of your vodka cut with water. Ironically, I have to report that the pickle addition is great, but I don’t fancy the water. I really don’t have a taste for alcohol without mix. The boys drop home and come back producing sprite and orange soda for me and themselves, which vastly improves things. I feel slightly bad as Grey Goose is excellent vodka, but other than a little sip to confirm its smoothness, neat is not for me. Sorry to all the connoisseurs! The game is 1-1 when I go to bed. The boys are mad about football. I should diverge here to clarify that Indians are not necessarily crazy about everything as it may seem from my reports, but my housemate Sonya often peppers her descriptions of people with the adjective “mad” and I appear to have picked up the habit… ;-) So Indians aren’t mad. And they are. If you want to know for sure, you’ll just have to come and see for yourself...


Anonymous said...

Your stories make me laugh! And Brent and I thought new parenthood was an adventure ... but clearly nothing compared to what you're experiencing! What a world that has opened up to you. Reading your blog is better than any literary fiction I've read, partly because your writing is witty and partly because of the personal connection, so thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us! We miss you back here in Canada (as I'm sure you miss people here, especially as the holidays near) but you're doing such important work and learning so much that it's hard to be anything but envious of you! Maybe we'll take the opportunity to follow your advice and try eating with our hands alongside Fin, and I even found my head tipping from side to side as I read the part on the "okay, maybe" Indian nod, which made me laugh out loud! It reminds me of one of my little cousins - who is actually half Indian - who used to say "yeah sure okay" whenever you asked him a question! We thought it was a cute toddler quirk but maybe he came by it naturally! Take care, McKay ... keep having fun, stay safe, and know that we'll be thinking of you over Christmas. Lots of love from Brent, Fin and me!!!

slowpoke said...

In addition to being mad, I think you're also picking up the use of "well" to mean "very" in your earlier posting. Sounds classier, doesn't it?