Every Body Talks about the ABCD (American Born Confused Desi). But do you know the confusion a desi guy encounters the first time he lands in the US of A? There is no doubt that our math skills get a boost after we come here – temperature is in Fahrenheit, distance in miles, weight in pounds, liquids in Ounces and after all this we have to do the most important conversion “Dollar to Rupee”. For a month or two I (an IBCV) have encountered many hilarious events that were both confusing and embarrassing. Its almost 6 months now – but still the mysteries of the Land of the free and the home of the brave (or should it b the other way :D) keep hitting me. Below is a collection of the experiences of such a desi born Videshi 🙂
The Bank of America – Have been there many times – a regular customer with small deposits :). One day as usual walked into the bank and stood in the Queue. Thanksgiving was nearing and this time the counters had something new on them – some chocolate bars in a basket. Used to the custom of finding free food and offers and as it was the thanksgiving season – i thought i was in for a deal. Finally my turn came – till then my eyes were fixed on the big bars – carefully counting the number of bars and the number of ppl in front of me – just to make sure that i would not miss the bar – (there were 3 bars and 3 ppl in front of me – though i hate probability – i was forced to use it). I searched for any sign of rival Indians that could spoil my chances – I was the first one – so discarded that probability – but still if all 3 ppl in front of me picked one bar each – i would be left with nothing – as the famous saying goes “When there is a need – there is a crooked deed” 😛 – my brain started a wide range of probabilities – there were 3 counters with 3 bars each – i leave the probability to you now :D. Finally it so happened that 2 of them closed for a short time and only one was left – my eyes glued to the single open counter. The torture began – the first dude went in spent 10 mins on the counter – Now i knew that nobody would pick up the bar as they entered the counter – they would pick up the bar only when leaving – this added additional torture. I tried to act normal – U know like a guy who dosent want free bars :P. The first dude finished his transaction and i thought – now he will go for the bar – DAMN. To my luck – he didn’t – he just walked away – i put a full stop to my probability skills – sure that i would have 1 bar 🙂 🙂 🙂 – that was internal smile by the way.
I relaxed my self and the second customer went in – suddenly the first dude came back to the counter – Ohh My GAWD – i knew why he came back – the bastard had forgotten to collect the chocolate bar and now he was at it – “ayee u lost ur turn – my evil self appeared by my side and asked me to shout”. I somehow kept quite – my probability skills were awakening again. To my surprise the first dude did not pick up the chocolate – he had forgotten something – he collected it and rushed out – a chocolaty smile around my face – i just wiped it out. The second customer and the third didnt even bother to collect the free bar.Three Americans before me went to the same counter and did not even bother to look at it – aa i said – bloody Americans – they must have eaten those when they were 3 – all they now crave for is some beer and and some bacon.
My turn came and i tried not to look at the bars as i entered – i gave the slip and the money and as the teller was engrossed in work – i had a quick glance on the menu – “Chocolate bar with mixed fruits and nuts” – it said and they were huge ones. I was waiting for the transaction to get over and it did.
“there is your receipt – have a good day” – the teller smiled.
“Can i have one of them?” – i asked with a nice smile.
“Of course” – the teller said – thats it – mission “get free bar” accomplished – i brought up my hand to pick it up.
“They are 50$ each” – the teller smiled.
Analogy – “A girl asks u to kiss her and right after kissing – u get one tight slap – THUD”.
My hand slowly went down – i knew the person behind me was far away so – he wouldn’t have heard the conversation – so i was saved of the embarrassment.
“OH” – i said and from my side it meant – i am not paying 50$ for that bar.
My idea was to give a smile and escape off the place.My hand slowly was getting back down to its position.
To add salt to the wound – the teller said
“The money you pay for that goes to the Orphanage – for thanksgiving – U can have a bar and contribute”.
Thats it – i just smiled – didn’t say a word and escaped off from that place.
While I went back – i cursed myself for not having noticed that there was nothing that said “FREE” anywhere nearby that place.
As i came out of the bank – a smile on my face – at least others behind me in the line might have got alarmed – i did see quite a few probability calculations going on in the long line behind me :).
The Leonardos : Is a hangout near my workplace which I visit often. Today was as usual I stood in the counter waiting for one of the service guys to call me and so they did – it was a chick – her face full of pierce rings – but she was from another counter not the one i was standing.
“Can I take your Order”? – she asked
I was standing in a single line for the first time not trying to bypass ppl as we did in India – but here she was asking me to get out of the line and place an order. For a moment i thought it was some other line and tried searching for any other dude or chick who would be in that line – no sign of anyone – everyone one was lined behind me and staring at me. Ironically INDIAN in me said – dont break the line – she must be calling someone else or just kidding.
“Sir can i take your order please?” – she asked – i felt as if the whole joint had heard it.
I moved out of the line and started to walk – my eyes still turning back for any signs of laughter – the dude behind me went forward and another girl joined my line – ahh i sighed – i am not the only one :).
“What would you like to Order?” – she smiled.
“As usual – a big vigge and a Drink” – I said cheekily
“Thats 4.99$” – she smiled again
“Ok” – i was trying to find my Bank Of America Card amidst a bunch of cards that testified that i was in the US
“Is it to go or here?” – she picked up a piece and put it into the oven
I got confused – what in the hell is she talking about
“Sir – is it to go or here?” – she asked again.
I was like a DODO knowing not which way to go.
She must have Understood – she pointed back and asked again “to go”?
Ahh – i realized she was pointing to the Drink machine – but what did “to go” have to do with the drink?
Damn it – i thought – “TO GO” i answered. She smiled – i smiled back
I went and got my drink waiting for my order to come and there it came neatly packed and wrapped in a box.
I was like What The!!! – did u gift wrap it or something – then i understood “to go” means was it to be packed?
I did not ask her to unpack it – and u know why 😛
Went to a corner seat unpacked it and started eating – ppl looking at me in amusement.
My thoughts just rounded me as to what ppl were thinking about me having the parcel then and there 😛
Thoughts “Might be his girlfriend didnt like the food – so he had to eat it here -looser”
Thoughts “he is soo damn hungry – just ripped out the parcel and had it here”
And i sat there laughing at myself and the lingo and munching away my piece of the pizza slice – “to go” 🙂