Well yes I'm back after a long hiatus. If you're expecting excuses then sorry you're going to be disappointed- I've run out of them!
I'm enjoying life in a new place. Well everything about the place is new( to me at least!). No one knows you... so you can give whatever build up you want about your past life and no one's the wiser(except yourself!). It's a new job (new career in fact!), new lifestyle( no more home cooked food- only bread and cornflakes for breakfast, 'meals' for lunch and 'something and anything'(read as 'soup' and 'maggi') for dinner, and small things like that.
But above all the best thing about a new place is the ability to make new friends. The first few weekends here in Cochin were excruciatingly painful. Of course it didn't help that I met with an accident and broke my hand... but that wasn't the real pain. The real pain was the emptiness of having to spend Sat night alone. I don't think I've ever done that in Chennai!
But now I have my Sat night buddies. A's a dentist- I call him Pallachi! (Mallu's and Tam's will get the pun intended- others just understand there is one!). N's a Ship Surveyor. WTF is that? Well, "it's like we give licences to ships like how RTO gives to cars"- his own words. "But isn't the license meant for the driver, in the sense, do you award licenses to the Captain and Co?" - I asked him. "No no no... you don't understand"- and he left it at that. So I can't really tell you what a Ship Surveyor is... sorry!
Anyway... two weekends back the 3 of us met up at my place and like all good boys in Mallu Land decided that we should head out for a drink. Now I'd come across this German guy 'R'- in a networking forum some time back. R seemed a friendly chap and I thought why not call him along. N & A agreed and so I called R.
It was nice(as in - entertaining!) to get directions from 'R' to his place. Mallu names(as in street names) sound so different when it comes off a German tongue.
We picked up R and headed to the Bar- wow that actually rhymes! But then the ultimate tragedy- Bars were closed because of elections and that meant our throats were going to be parched that night.
Never the mind that- we decided to head out somewhere else and get some grub. We went to a nice place and ordered food. The conversation was mainly small-talk. We were still getting used to each other I guess. A & N were busy talking about food. R was sitting across me, listening intently and understanding nothing. Suddenly out of the blue R steers the conversation to women.
" So how zo you approach women here?"- he asked me in his thick German accent.
I smiled. "Why do you ask?"
"oh... just curious... I heard zat most marriages are zet up by the family."
"That's true! We're still conservative."
"Ummmm... ztrange!"- he said, for the first time that night.
"well things are very different here in India. Most love affairs happen in college. Kids get aroused by the freedom they get in college and most of them decide to have a crack at a relationship. But by the time college ends they realize that they're incompatible and they just end it. Then it's the arranged marriage route"- I tried explaining.
"Do you have a girl in Germany?"- N enquired.
"Not any more! I broke up before coming to India!"- he smiled.
"Ah.. so you want to try some chick here eh?" A nudged R and smiled.
"Well yes... but the choice iz poor here!"- R said. And for a moment we were all stunned.
"Well maybe we have different tastes"- I tried explaining. (Indian women- please note that it was I who stood up for all of you!)
"No no... you should see girls in Germany. They come from all countries. Very beautiful girls!"- R said.
*A little of track here. Yes I looked in to R's facebook profile and checked out all his "hot" friends. And they really are "hot"! You think I'm a pervert for doing so? Well yes I am. I've checked most "hot" profiles on FB. I'm not apologetic about it at all. If you- who is reading this- consider yourself "hot', then rest assured that I have either checked your profile already or will be doing so in the near future! Amen!
"So how zo you approach girlz here?"- he asked again.
"Well you can't be direct here... you've got to be tactful."- I said.
"In the zenze?"
"Like how would you approach a girl in Germany?"
"Well... I zee her in ze Pub and approach her and azk her if she would like a drink. Then we get talking and... you know... exchange phone no'z before we leave".
"Ah... that wouldn't work here!"
"Because girls here don't like their guys being too direct. You've got to layer your approach. You've got to use tact. Like you can't ask a girl if 'she wants a drink' staright away. You've got to start the conversation with something else. Like maybe the music playing in the club. Or maybe talk about one of her friends or your friends. The direct approach is a no no!"
"Yes... do you have your eyes on anyone?" I enquired.
"Ummm... yes... there iz a girl in the bus stand... she'z very pretty!"
"Indian?"- A enquired.
"Yes"- R answered.
"Hey for you it will be very easy man. You're white guy. Girls will be ready to help you."- N offered.
"Really? Zo what should I do?"
"Just go to the bus stop tomorrow and ask her where the bus to some place is. Then ask her to show you which bus it is and get in to it."- N said.
"But I already know which bus to take!"- R said.
"Doesn't matter. Ask anyway... it's a good way to start a conversation. Then next day when she sees you- smile! She'll hopefully smile back. Enquire after her and start a conversation slowly. Maybe you could take it some place slowly."
- I said.
"Ummmm.... ztrange! But zat is very slow yes? I'm here only for 9 months. Will I be able to get this girl before that?"
A cupped his shoulders in a way of offering his condolences and nodded in the negative.