Classes, Cultures and Cats - Weekend edition

I'm a part time student. I'm trying to get my degree in Psychology. Part timing is not the most effective way, but it's fun. I've registered with a friend, so its like good ol' days, where we passed notes in class. Last week, my friend couldn't make it, but luckily a colleague of mine from Netherlands wanted to see what classes here were like. One of the main reasons I decided to do my second masters in psychology was because I wanted to further specialize in Cross Cultural management and relationships.

So off we went to class. I was a bit late, he was a lot early... says something about cultures? Hmm...
My first hour got cancelled, and we ended up joining a similar session with another batch of students. It happened to be math.
There was a point in my life when I loved solving math. A time, when I was one of those geeky kids who used to raise their hands and go "pick me pick me pick me" when the prof was looking for someone to do the sum on the black board. My math notebook used to have childish stars, and I was proud of it. All this lasted till school only though. When I started my bachelors, there wasn't much math involved. And in my masters, though quite a few books were dipped in numbers, I'd lost interest. My motivation and interest in math went away because of associations. My mom was a math professor. She made math really fun. With her, math was a challenge. A competition. A play ground where I could experiment, and she was my guide come cheer leader.
So last class, we were doing math, and suddenly it was competitive again. Who got the numbers right the first time... 447 or 457... Would the prof be writing my answer on the board first? Is it the right answer? It was fun! Again... For a brief period, I remembered why I used to love math, even though it was just simple stuff we were dealing with.
Between the last statement and now, I had briefly stepped out for a meeting with my boss. During that time, my boss got a call from his boss - who is of another nationality. As I silently sat by and watched (I wasn't eve's dropping, really! He was right in front of me, I had no choice!!) I saw my boss smile widely, and ... I hate to say this, but he sounded very flirtatious. His boss is also a guy by the way. But it's not just them. Most people I've noticed, not just from here, but people from other countries as well, especially Asian, look like they are flirting when interacting with a foreigner. Me included.
We smile too much, we laugh at the un-funniest of jokes, we patronize, nod profusely, listen intently... most things you also do when you're flirting with someone.
I have a theory, a simple one. I think when we meet someone from a different country
a. We don't want to offend them
b. We want to project the best of ourselves and our country
c. We try to understand them
d. We are partly fascinated by the strangeness... differences if you want me to be more politically correct ;)
Because of this, our actions may as well be flirting.

Anyway, that's just something I noticed, and theorized about. Maybe I was just reading too much into things as usual !
So anyway... my colleague and I went from classes to lunch to tour of a uni to a mall during which we discussed and compared various aspects of our cultures.
Major topics ranged from sports > driving > FOOD > Food habits > weddings > relationships> Socialization > Family > Eye contact > Honking, and so on and so forth. The conversations revolved around the same general topics,yes. But it was different in many ways. Things that are not so easily discussed in my cultural context, I could easily discuss with him. Things that I've taken for granted, I had to pause, remember and explain. We also noticed that beyond the cultural differences, there were a few similarities as well. Importance given to different aspects of life.
It should have been more like comparing notes. but it was a fun conversation.

I also had to consciously stop myself from being too much of a tourist guide, and let him just hang out.

It is to be noted that we each read 4 books that day.
(Those books might or might not have come from the baby section of the book store, I'm not telling!)

That evening, after a small complication with my bike, I went on to take my sister to her classmate's Arangaetram. I don't know if I've ever truly appreciated my country's cultures, values and traditions. I love them. And I hope I don't take them for granted too much!
The girl danced beautifully, we were able to watch just 3 of the 8 pieces she performed. And all 3 were very commendable.

That Sunday we went for a Big Family Get Together Come Picnic, It was a mash of maritime come mallu style. Food and entertainment, completely mallu, and the location: Maritime academy.
It was this super awesome place, to which I will dedicate an entire photo blog post soon! So no more boring details here :P

The evening had my family disrupted because a cat wanted to join my family too. And I didn't want it to.
There was crying, screaming, threatening. None of which I'm particularly proud of.

All I can say is, if I don't get married, you can bet that I won't be an old lady with 9 cats either!

Ta :)


Anish Thomas said…
Killer one girl :D :D :D

....We smile too much, we laugh at the un-funniest of jokes, we patronize, nod profusely,

What all you said about the interaction with foreigners ..can't agree with you more.Anyways Good write up girl and keep em coming

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