Culture Shock


Today’s Daily Prompt: Uncanned Laughter: A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.


For the past four months or so, for various reasons – ranging from emotional to logical – I am grappling with Spanish, trying to learn by myself online. Prima facie, I did not find Spanish daunting at all. The reason may be because the language is easy to pronounce. But the raison de vivre was to interact with an intriguing latin-american chica. On one of our routine chats, I was impressed by her presence of mind in tackling a question. I called her a vixen, in Spanish – la zorra. If you speak Spanish, I’m sure you can guess her reaction!!

If this is an international culture shock, the domestic culture shocks are more funnier. South Indians nod their heads horizontally when they agree or disagree to something with a subtle change in the speed and direction. But North Indians nod their heads vertically in agreement and horizontally in disagreement. My North Indian interviewer felt that I didn’t know anything for the best part of viva. On the other hand I was discomfited by the lack of seriousness in his questions. Finally I saved my day by putting an end to the nodding business and speaking up explicitly! Ufff!


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