Apparently my friends (and sometimes my family) wonder what I really do here….
So, here’s a little example of one of my interviews.
I had an interview with an HSBC bank employee. I was waiting with my translator, Anitha, at this little café place called, “Baker’s Castle.” There was a little bit of confusion because the man I was supposed to meet (named Punth, pronounced Poont) thought we were meeting at this place called “Bagels” instead of “Baker’s Castle.” Anitha got off the phone with him and started going on a huge soap box about how Indian people never listen; they always act like they are listening, they bobble their heads and say, “ah, huh, hm,” but really never listen to you. (She’s Indian, so she’s allowed to make generalizations like that, I think.)
Then I accidentally knocked over Anitha’s glass of water, which spilled on the table, chair, and floor. Per usual, you know me.
Finally Punth arrives. Shakes our hands, and sits in the water chair, jumped up and moved to the other chair. (Whoops.) That made me kind of giggly – that happens, you know? So, I had to concentrate a little bit so I wouldn’t start laughing or anything (that, and the music was super loud.) Then Anitha starts kind of lecturing apologetic Punt about how she told him Baker’s Castle, not Bagels. I try to talk over her and tell him it’s no big deal.
As I was interviewing him, Anitha’s coffee arrived and floating on the surface of it was a smiley face out of cream and chocolate syrup. Because Anitha is the biggest squealer I have ever met, she SQUEALED loudly, “Ooooooo!! How cute!! Look! Look, how cute!” So, I look over and see the smiley and start laughing, of course. She starts on a quest to figure out which waiter created her clever cup.
I keep interviewing. After about 30 more seconds, Anitha’s over-enthusiastic and spastic squeal reverberated in my mind and I started giggling again. All I could do was point at Anitha’s cup, roll my eyes, and make a face like, “She’s out of control and sorry that I'm immature and think that is so funny…”
Then when I thought we were done interviewing, I started thanking him, but he just sat there and didn’t leave. It was like an awkward doorstep scene. So, I interviewed him some more.
Anyway, that’s part of my way exciting India life. Ps, I really like Anitha, in case I sounded otherwise. And Punt was super nice, and super helpful. Oh, and ps, I usually don’t talk to people in cafes, usually I’m sitting outside in the sweaty hot sun, with tons of flies landing on me. In case you were wondering.