Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cuture Shock

Scenario 1: Arranged marriage

Scenario 2: Prospect of moving from a city to a wanna be city

Scenario 3: Korean Lunch

Scenario 4: Dad's friends visit: 4 people settled in Netherlands - 2 German, 2 Dutch. One of the Germans, stays at Netherlands, works at Germany.

Let me take you through this step by step.

I stay home with my parents and grandma. My dad and grandma have been, for more than a year now, giving Mrs. Bennet a run for her money - where trying to marry their daughter off is concerned. I've never seen a person more talented than my grandmother who can slip marriage into absolutely any conversation ever.

My success in evading both of them has been having its ups and downs, and today it had a very deep low. They found not one, but TWO eligible guys in the newspaper. Just my luck. And one of them - the more eligible one, is settled in a town about 700 kms from where I stay. Apparently they are really well off, and the guy is educated abroad. But this said, he's settled there, in a town, with family. (At the risk of my blog being read by "Prospects"-) I cannot do that!!! I may not hang out as much as many my age, but I like the city. I love the city!! I like that I can get back home alone at 11 PM, or that I can just go hang at a mall by myself, wearing shorts and a tee shirt, my glasses and my hair left to do as it pleases - without having to worry about what the "society" or "others" will think about me. I give a damn about what others think of me, and if I were ever to move to such a place, (No offence - though I am not naming the place - it's a great place, lovely climate - but as a vacation! Not a place for me to live in!) I would always be asked "What will others thinks of us if you act this way!".

I would die. Shrivel up and die.

So, right now, I know that is not happening, but today morning, when it was just brought up, and with grandma going "Don't say no before you give it a thought", and dad going "They're such a nice family, I've spoken to them" I was officially completely losing hope.

Once upon a time, 2 years back, I used to freak, now I just sink inside.

Is asking for 4 years time, during when I just find someone myself, that un-reasonable a thing to ask?!?! Seriously ?!

So, with all of that running in my head, I headed off to my korean lunch. It took me a while to get into I-dont-care-about-marriages-or-weddings-lets-talk-tall-hot-korean-guys mode. The fact that my friend was riding with me, and that we hiilariously got lost in circles helped :)

By the time we reached, I was all ready for my first Korean Lunch ever! Unlike Chinese or Italian, Korean cuisine isn't that famous. So I was excited about eating all that I've seen. (Please check post Chalmukesumneda for a more detailed account)

Short version: There was soooooo much of food, and it was all different, good different :)

Come evening, with a power cut that slightly extended and mindless drama watching. By then I had remembered the whole morning episode, and made up my mind that it could never happen - and was stocking up on defences, for when my dad dinally wakes for that conversation.

Like most conversations which you're over prepared for, this one sizzled out in 5 minutes. I guess he is pretty clear about my stance now, but looked like he was still mulling over it. That and the unused defences had kind of drained me of my energy for the day.

Couple of chicken legs.

Headed to bed, plopped on it, and continued my mindless drama watching, though my eyes were dying for a nap.

Before one of the 45 minute episode was up, I head some people talking in the living room - with definite strong accents.

My dad is one of THE MOST SOCIAL people I know, and has friends from all over the world. Literally. Having studied and worked in 3 different countries just added to his mixed pot of friends.

I hadn't met today's guests before. They were friends of friends.

Normally, the culture lover that I am, I run over for a fun conversation to ask about various things. But today was not one of those days.

Nevertheless, courtesy demanded that I be there, and boy am I glad I went.

So as mentioned earlier, there were 4 of them. An older Dutch couple, and a younger German couple, all settled in the the Netherlands. The older couple and the guy of the younger couple were all into biological research. The German girl - who lived in Netherlands (Some place pronounced Neigh-megan - but I'm not sure if thats the right spelling) travelled to Germany everyday for work as a trainer. She's a psychologist by education, so yes, I was very interested to know what scope there was in that field. But more so about how she dealt with the Dutch-German culture divide by literally crossing over everyday! Didn't ask though, as they stayed for a short time, and they were talking about biology.

I learnt how Potato diseases had changed the History of Ireland and the English crown's power in 1844. Apparently, Ireland was an English colony. Thought Potatoes and wheat was grown there, the Irish were entitled to only the potatoes - which was their staple food. In 1844, a mexican potato disease caused all the potatoes of that year to spoil, leaving the Irish with nothing to eat. It was then that they realized how surpressed they really were, not being allowed to eat the wheat that they grew. There was a huge political unrest, and lots of migration happened. The Kennedys' of the USA were by-products of part of that migration to USA. Cool huh?

The guests were given a choice of wine or black tea, but I dunno if they mis understood, they picked both. Not that offering both is an issue, but wine & black tea is such a weird combination don't you think ? Ah well, foreigners!

A lot happened today, and here I am writing about it.

But you know what the biggest culture shock of today was?

It was my 17 year old sister, who:
1. Came out to greet the guests - (which she normally only does by showing her face, putting on a fake smile, and running to her room before most people registered her tiny presence)

2. Put out her hands first, to shake everyone's hands, and the biggest whopper of them all

3. Asked the guy (German younger guy) who was double her age, and definitely at least double her size, very politely,

"How do you pronounce that? Your name... could you spell it for me please?"

And then went on to sit and have a detailed conversation about biological research with the older gentleman, during the rest of their visit.

My jaw is still lying somewhere down. I'm gonna go pick it up, not think too much about anything, and go to sleep.

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