Two friends have visited the US the same time. I was amused by both their reactions. Friend one and partner travelled from India to Las Vegas, California and New York and came back raving about the States. The hustle and bustle and the night life, the fashion and food were just too good for them. Friend two and partner travelled all the way from Europe to America. She said, "It’s like a world village. When you get dosa on a cart in New York...no wonder Indians love US...they think it's like India but more developed.”
And both agree that the beauty of the US is that every race, cast, creed, character assimilate so well, which probably means less racism than other parts of the world. I think of Sydney and I feel the US is probably a bigger version of it. I can’t help thinking that in today’s time every big country and city in the world is like a global village and a UN headquarter where every culture and cuisines of the world coexist.
When friend two told me about her American exploits, between the two of us, it was a laugh riot. She said, “Their accent grates on your ears when they say thainks with that nasal twang - feel like sending them to London to learn better pronounciation.” Well, I have a difficulty trying to grasp the Australian accent and when I speak, I do get a twitch of the brow at times – even though I can read and write well, hahahahah!
But accents apart, I think part of every Western orientation is getting used to words. It’s of course part of the big hospitality culture. In India, our hospitality is centred around food. You have a guest and no matter how much unwilling he is, you stuff food in his mouth. Here it’s how you are spoken and greeted with. So, you go to a restaurant and ask for forks and knives because it is not on the table and the waiter replies, “That’s a good idea.” Friend two asks me, “What does that mean?” Next, you order eggs for breakfast, the waiter says, “Awesome.”
I went to a cosmetics shop and the woman at the counter, much younger than me, walked up and asked “Hi love, can I help you.” On a cold winter afternoon, sometimes the words offer warmth, even if they come from strangers.