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The art of flattering

My weight, and my supposed resemblance to Katrina Kaif’s sister, is a big topic among my customers all across India. To their defence I must say that I am probably the only foreigner girl they do business with (and for so long), and that it’s in their blood, gossiping... So I'm well known. In all humility. Not a meeting where I don’t get to hear about my weight. Curious is it not?

I have a fantastic client. A big vet, always wearing a tie decorated with dogs, a voice from beyond the grave, an impressive collection of yucky stuff kept in formalin and gadgets full of dust everywhere in his clinic.


When we met for the second time (one year after the first time), it was morning and I was not yet really awake (like pretty much every morning in fact) and very cranky (it happens, luckily not every morning!). And I was greeted with something like "Oh! You really have put on weight since the last time we met!” Bam bam! Go swallow your pride girl... Even though I know it is kind of a compliment in India, there are days you just can’t take it... So that morning I could not help but tell him, with a smile, that in my culture this kind of comment was highly offending. You moron.


When we met for the third time (four years after the second time), I saw him coming from far (as in literally). I didn’t believe it was possible but... He looked at me from toes to head, paused, and tells me: "Oh! You love Indian food don’t you eh! You have put on so much weight since last time!” He would have added "you fat cow" and I would have had it all! Except that this time I was in a good mood and moreover I was more or less back to the weight I had when we first met so I just smiled...


I will conclude by quoting one of my big clients – which had pushed the limits by even giving an estimate (of 3-4 kgs) to my weight loss in April – who told me, the same week I met that vet: “I am doing very well, how do you find me??" He had put on weight since April and was expecting a compliment...


Ah! Culture...


See also in the same spirit:



Blowing fuses (end)

He finally called the head of the society who came to see the damage: acrid smoke in the box room. Then he explained to me that no electrician would come at this hour and that stores were closed and anyway on strike because of some new tax... 

In the meantime I had gone back up to see if moving up the fuses had changed something in the apartment. And the neighbor I had bothered to find out where the fuses could be had found the business card of her electrician! And the little fellow arrived within ten minutes. Called a buddy who had a spare part. He managed to do some bandage to my electricity box which would allow us to have some electricity for the night. And he came back the next day to fix it all properly.

If this isn’t beautiful!!






Blowing fuses

Here is what happens when four Westerners live in an apartment planned for eight Indians: we blow fuses! Literally... Although the word is weak. The fuses did not only blow, the whole box exploded. I have to confess a heater was on as well as an AC, two magnetic plates and the washing-machine...

I quietly finished my shower in the dark (it was a Friday evening of May, at around 8 PM) and sent one of my Westerners to talk to the watchman and ask about the fuses (because the box is not in the apartment, curiously). Except that I am the "goddess" of the watchman: he refused to do anything without speaking to me! At least this is what I understand when my Westerner came back up with zero information. But actually no. The good chap had explained to my friend that 1. He had finished his shift, 2. We had to wait till tomorrow. And my friend had not understood anything!


This led to a heated discussion in Hindi (I had no idea I had such resources!) where, in brief, I yelled at him that I didn't care he had finished his shift, that he could be sure I was not to spend a night without electricity (it was more than forty degrees), that I didn’t believe his story of strike of the stores and that he was going to move his ass faster than this, non mais oh!

Here I have to say that 1. I yelled but it was for the form, deep down I was laughing and he could see it (even though he didn’t know really on which foot dance!) since he replied that I had well managed to get my car battery fixed on my own so I could do the same for my electricity!

And 2. I am well aware that this kid sleeps most of the time on the floor of the building ground so that it was very bourgeois and selfish of me to demand that he helped with my fuses but at some point we each have to deal with our own shit (I hope you will forgive my French but I am just trying to be honest ;) )...


And then...


(To be continued!)