Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Circular Conversation

Conversations in India tend to veer in unexpected directions, sometimes taking you right back where you started. Here are three certified true and verbatim:

1. At a restaurant:

After having ordered the coconut souffle I was presented with a dish that looked to be more like a coconut pudding (another item on the menu.)

Me: Ah, waiter, is this the coconut souffle or the coconut pudding?

Waiter: (Enthusiastically) Yes.

2. While aimlessly riding a bicycle through some back lanes in Kerala I was approached by another cyclist:

Cyclist: Where are you going?

Me: I don't know.

Cyclist: (after a pause) I am speaking English.

Me: Yes, you are.

Cyclist: You are speaking English?

Me: Yes.

Cyclist: Where are you going?

Me: I don't know.

Cyclist: (another pause) Very well, I will go with you.

3. In a hotel room. I'm sitting on the bed, a fellow from housekeeping (HK) is changing the light bulb.

Me: Excuse me, why is there a hole in the ceiling?

HK: (after a moment) It is for the fan.

Me: Oh. Where is the fan?

HK: The fan is in the suites.

Me: Oh, ok. So why is there a hole in this ceiling?

HK: For the fan.

Me: Well, why is there no fan?

HK: The fan is in the suites.

Me: (after a pause) Oh.

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