Monday, August 20, 2012

Indian Oddities

Every place you go you'll notice little oddities that strike you as new and strange.  India is no exception.

When I've been other places, there is always the one little custom, or idiosyncratic behavior, or regional behavior that seems unique to the place you are. For example, the Italians talk with their hands, the Dutch kiss your cheek three times (as opposed to the traditional once or twice), the Parisians .. well, we'll come back to them another time, the Argentine kiss you the first time you meet, and the Germans have to know you a long time (maybe a year) before they really consider you a friend, Californian pedestrians obey all the traffic rules, New York'ers don't, to name a few.

But none of that really threw me.

The Indians however have a little oddity that did.  When you speak with them, they wobble their heads back and forth. I've since learned that this is to acknowledge that they are listening.

To the uninitiated it appears that they are saying no.  So while you're talking to them -- asking directions, can I do this, can you do that, would you like to do this or that, all the while you're getting the impression that they are saying no before you even complete the sentence.  Its a bit un-nerving.

I've been here three weeks and I am finally just starting to get used to it. 

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