In a sea of faces....



There is a common misconception that ALL people of Chinese origin look alike. That is simply not true. Have you seen Yao Ming .. the guy is ginormous ??

But once in a while, it does so happen that confusion arises, often with consequences that are hilarious in retrospect, but at that particular moment is a humongous #facepalm moment.



Take this instance.... The missus and I are walking along the street and chance upon a guy hawking knock-off DVDs. At the time I was super enthu about watching and completing Prison Break that when I saw season 3 was out on the street, I could barely curb my enthusiasm and not jump up for joy, but anyway, that's for another day.

So I pick up the DVDs and a couple of others, and go along on my way. Just as we were to jump into the bowels of Shanghai's metro system, I suddenly remembered that I had left my new found possession at the DVD sellers place. When I went back to get it, he vehemently denied even having sold anything to me or even seeing me before that!

I was absolutely furious that he was trying to con me out of my money and most importantly, viewing entertainment for the next 13 odd hours of non-stop prison trash talk. Thanks to all the gesturing and howling, a small crowd gathered around or at least, it looked that way. After 10 excruciating minutes between my Mandarin and his English ( or rather lack of), it I decided to walk away and just let it be.

A few steps later, with me fuming under the collar and cursing my luck, I hear someone call out to me

"hello ! hello hello !! Your DVD DVD DVD !!".

Argh ! Dude. Thats what I've been telling you ! I want my DVD that I paid for.

I turn around the guy hands over the DVD. And then to my utter embarrassment, I realize that I had bought it from a completely different shop. The chap I was arguing with is looking at me from a few metres away and waving and laughing ! ! The two guys look almost identical ! They sounded identical ! Their shops were identical!
I'm sure they had a pretty good laugh about it and cracked more 'wai guo ren' . Atleast I was not a dumb, loud, obnoxious lao wai

Yikes.

Not recognizing a stranger might be excusable and you can save face. But when it happens in the office that you've worked in for a few months, 'embarrassing' does not even BEGIN to cover the shame.

While walking back to the office from lunch, this lady comes up and says "Hi Y, hows it going? Hows work? how's the missus adjusting? Hows the Chinese class coming along? Are you going to go to India sometime? And so on

At this point of time, I'm utterly confused. This woman knows my name, she knows my work, but for the life of me, I just cannot remember ever seeing her anywhere. I brush away her questions as quickly as I can and try to end the conversation. But she walks right alongside me and right into the office

I am totally drawing a blank here. Its not even a case of meeting an old acquaintance and be guilty of forgetting their names. At least in those cases, you'd get a Eureka moment where the name comes to you JUST when you need it.

Here it was the complete opposite. I did not know her from Eve. Never seen her, never met her, never spoke to her. For a very brief second I thought I had acquired my very own stalker and a small voice inside me said "Yay! I'm famous"

As we walked up the flight of stairs, the mystery woman went to her desk and I went to mine.

And that's when the thunderbolt struck... She sits a few cubicles away from me. All she had done was color her hair, do something to it and wear glasses and become a completely different looking person.

Gulp!

I did not recognize some one who I passed by EVERYDAY and said the usual "good morning/evening" !!

Gaaaah !!


I picked myself up and went to the loo to bang my head on the wall to reflect on yet another "Doh!!" moment in my life.

Trampled byY Trip at Saturday, March 13, 2010

3 comments:

Vivek Gumata said... March 14, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

Mr. Y, i am sure there are plenty more of "Doh!!"moments :).Sure does make for an interesting blogging topic!

Y Trip said... March 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

What happened was called "Cross Race Bias" and I guess I'm guilty of falling victim to that.

But then, your comment really was about my D'oh moments.

Yes, I have quite a few of them.
And NO, I wont share all of them

Anonymous said... March 16, 2010 at 7:52 PM  

very hillarious.... keep posting more blogs.

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