chai, conversations, humor, life

Aisha and Bob- and so much left unsaid

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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18 thoughts on “Aisha and Bob- and so much left unsaid”

  1. *snort* Loving it.
    Not quite on the same level, but I once had a boyfriend's elderly grandmother ask me if I'd ever been attacked by 'Red Indians' (I'm from Arizona.) I assured her that although I was, technically, part 'Red Indian' myself, those days were–sadly–over. She didn't get it. People are weird. And sort of funny, in a sad, ignorant way…


  2. LOL!
    The more ignorant they are, the more they talk, don't they?
    But I have to admire your politeness.

    One of the movers asked me where we came from and then he said the name of a sportsman who is also named George and concluded that my son would be “huge”. I just left it at that. I was busy, unlke him. 🙂


  3. Fruitful, lol, I chose to laugh glad you did too! They meant well. That's all I can say 🙂

    Julia- oh yes, Bobs are everpresent aren't they?? lol

    Susan, attacked by a Red indian- WOW. That's funny. And sad.

    Eun Ha, so nice to hear from you!!! It's been a long time 🙂 Glad [sort of, I guess, because miserly loves company] you can relate to the frustration!

    Kmina, you definitely hit the nail on the head. Lol @ the george comment. They don't mean harm. It's just.. .yeah. . .

    Jamila, Mystic, I guess it seems I'm not the only one!

    Kate, its sad but true 😦 but I choose to laugh about it- when people don't mean it in a bad way, I accept that they just didn't know better- when its hate behind the remarks- that's when its frustrating.


  4. Reminds me of my uncle in England – eh, where you from then? Oh, I eat your food all the time.

    Oh, brother.

    You: Hey, I used to eat McDonalds, but I hear it's not so good for you – no offense.

    Do you get your skin checked regularly, you people are so crazy about suntanning, you have to be careful about skin cancer.

    Sorry to hear about Hitler – he sure gives white people a bad name, eh?


  5. I'm Jewish…there is a phenomon called “Jewish Geography”. I hate when people think we all know each other…but then this happens.

    Stranger: Oh, you are Jewish? I knew a Jewish girl…From Wisconsin. Jordan Gerber. Do you know her?

    Me: Did she go to Flordia State?

    Stranger: Yes.

    Me: Actually, yes. We went on an Israel Teen Tour together in 1997.

    (Shakes head)


  6. yes!!! although it's been a while. when it does happen, though, it immediately gets filed away for a FB status update. kicks, ya know.
    at my last gig, a guest came up to ask me if i was from iran… sweet sweet lady, and i explained appropriately. but when i was leaving… she put her hands together in front of her face and bowed… where is that from anyway? it might be hindu? but it's not iranian, muslim, or pakistani, or any of the things i might have been. least of all american, which i am more than anything…


  7. LOL. when i studied at university in cairo, my style of hijab (called a rida, a two piece outfit consisting of a skirt and a cape-like top) was kinda different to what everyone else was wearing. there were other bohra muslim girls there wearing the same thing, and it used to bother me no end when people would come up to me and say, 'oh, we saw your sisters the other day', or, 'how many sisters do you have anyway?'!!


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