Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So you are a bangali bou?

In Kolkata you take an auto that drives on a certain route, i.e. Ruby to Gariahat or Gariahat to Park Circus or Rash Bihari, with about 3-4 other people. Today I was on my way home from the metro when an old man started asking me questions.

It started because I asked the driver, "Gariahat, koto?" (How much to gariahat?)

The man next to me started with, "You can speak bengali?" in a somewhat surprised voice, to which I replied, "a bit".

OM : Where are you from?

At this point my phone rings and it's DH wondering where I am, so I tell him and then hang up.

Me: US
OM : How long have you been here?
Me : Just about 2 years
OM : Why are you here?
Me : My husband is Bengali
OM : Oh, so you're a bangali bou?
Me : I suppose so, yes
OM : Do you know what bou means?
Me : Yes, wife
OM : How do you like bangali's?
Me : I like them so far (at this point I am a bit annoyed...)
OM : How many months out of the year do you stay in India?
Me : Almost 2 years...

At this point he shuts up and we get out.

It was funny, and a bit annoying but it made me smile! :-)


p.s. sorry if i forgot any 'B's in this post...my 'b' button is acting up =/


  1. hehe don't you love it when total stranger start asking so many questions? Some of them gets quite crazy.
    Now with my daughter I get even more in the vein of "Is she yours?" and when I say yes "But she looks indian and you are a foreigner".
    "You look like a foreigner, where are you from?" and when I say Switzerland I get "Aren't people from there supposed to be blonde?"

  2. @Cyn,

    Yeah...usually it's older people, although I have had some younger people ask me.

    It's funny :-)

  3. Argh.
    When this happens and I tell them it is inappropriate they always reply something along the lines of 'don't mind, I am your friend - this is the Indian way to ask questions'.
    I hate people that don't understand the concept of privacy/prying and when questions cross the line of comfort.

  4. @Bad Bhabhi (AKA Gracie)

    It doesn't normally bug me, except for when I don't feel like talking...and then I pretend I didn't hear or text someone randomly LOL :-)

  5. I can understand how irritating such unwanted intrusions get!@ Cyn: That's hilarious

  6. cnc, the biggest drawback among indians why they give importance to outsiders like this. Fools think that they are asking questions considering them like their own..and making them comforatble..but indeed it is harrassing these foreigners. Please forgive this old man ..