Have you ever engaged in a conversation with a perfectly pleasant person who says the most perfectly confounding things that you’re just not even sure how to respond to? In the classic film You’ve Got Mail, Meg Ryan’s character says what happens to me. . . is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then, I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. Yeah, that about sums me up entirely, including this conversation with ‘Bob’:
Bob: Hi. I’m Bob.
Me: Nice to meet you. I’m Aisha.
Bob: Oh man. I gotta tell you. I love Indian Food! And Vindaloo? It rocks.
Never had vindaloo. Not from India. But glad to hear of your devotion to Indian food.
Me: Oh, that’s nice.
Bob: I’ve always wanted to go to India and visit an ashram and learn yoga. You must do great yoga.
My wii instructor finds my yoga skills average. India does seem beautiful. Thanks for sharing this random tidbit about you. I hope you realize your dreams of yogi zen.
Me: Well, my ancestry is Pakistani. I’m not sure if they do a lot of yoga or have any ash-
Bob: Pakistan! I had a friend from Pakistan when I was a kid! In Vancouver. Her name was Sara. . . Khan was the last name, I think. Do you know her?
Sara Khan. From Vancouver. Ofcourse. Why wouldn’t I?
Me: I don’t think so.
Bob: Pakistanis like chai. You must love chai.
Me: I do.
Bob: I ate at a Pakistani restaurant in San Francisco. You guys make the best chai.
Me: Well. . . thanks!
Bob: Have you had the chai-tea from Starbucks? It’s the best.
Bob: But seriously. . . I’m sorry about your loss a few years back.
Me: What loss?
Bob: Benazir Bhutto. Her passing must have been difficult.
Contrary to popular media perception, she was not beloved and adored by all- myself included. I felt sad for the brutal death of a human being however no different than any other life taken unjustly.
Me: Um yeah I managed.
Bob: Are you on facebook? I’ll totally look you up so we can link up. I don’t think I have any Pakistani friends on there.
And now, reason 1,000,201 to deactivate my FB account once and for all.
Me: Yeah, that would be. . . fun.
Not fun being boiled down into a stereotype- especially when, in matters of chai-drinking, I so fit the bill.
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