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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A close shave

Woohoo! I have had my first bit of dodgy Plog-related communication.

On a high from finishing my final training course (the last few weeks have been like Groundhog Day but without the added excitement of suicide and ice sculptures), I came back to my room and checked my emails, and - unusually - had a Plog-related one. I've always worried a little bit about putting my personal email address on the site, but I figure, it's only email, not my real address, and I can handle the odd bit of spam. Mostly it's never used, and occasionally when it is, it tends to be a friend anyway. Some days I'm not sure anyone actually reads this. Today proved me wrong.

I got an email saying, "32d - nice size... u shaven bald too?" (sic)

Obviously I replied. How could I not?

"Yes. My whole head is completely smooth."

Well, it made me laugh anyway.

So I'm finished! I'm done! Ta-ra for now, Asia. You loooooose. Back to Britain, where the weather sucks, but the water doesn't kill you. Unless you drown in it. Then I suppose it might kill you a bit.

My least favourite thing about India? The abject poverty? The street-traders forcing you to look at their rubbish scarves? Indian Mr Bean? Nope.

It's how when someone doesn't understand you (not a crime - after all, I am the visitor here), they still nod and smile as if they have. So, for example, when I asked a staff member if they could arrange for whoever was hammering in the room next door to the training area to - well - stop, I was greeted with nodding and smiling... and absolutely fuck all happening. I sent some of my delegates to reason with them in their own langauge eventually.

Now I have no problem with the not understanding - they fared far better than I would have done trying to speak in my Foreign (French). But why not say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand."? I could have mimed. I'm very good at mime. Once in Hong Kong (not this visit) I did an Oscar-worthy mime for toilet roll. I wish you could have been there. But no. Politeness and affability and bugger all gets done.

And also, what's that funny nodding / shaking of the head all about? Are you agreeing with me or not? Stop waggling. Sit still.

My flight isn't until 3.30 in the morning, so I'm planning on staying in my hotel room, ignoring the tickle that's threatening to become a sore throat, and then sulk in Delhi Airport for a good few hours. I originally typed "suck in Delhi Airport". Well, I suppose it might make the time go faster, and I could earn a few rupees whilst I was doing it.

I'm off to the bathroom to start shaving myself bald.


Anonymous said...

Haven't you read EM Forster's Passage to India? I seem to remember that all sorts of trouble can arise from the Indian inclination to be highly affable.

Still, all done now and you'll be home for Christmas. Just think how much this experience will have added to your CV! :o)

Nice Kate x

Laura said...

I have indeed read A Passage to India. Hated every sodding word. Dull, dull, dull. I shall work on being as un-affable as possible for my remaining few hours here. Shouldn't be hard. I have mardy down to a tee.

Definitely looking forward to being at home... and surely you're not suggesting I apply for another job. Do you know something I don't?


L x