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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

(Un)forgettable misdirection

The (un)forgettable misdirection given by me inadvertently (which still haunts me), happened a year back exactly. Hope the victim is not cursing me still...

During one of my business trips at that time, I was on my way to Rome - from Paris. This was after my two days stay near 'Gare Du Nord' (one of the main train stations) in the heart of Paris. When I came out of the flight in Rome Fiumicino Airport, a lady ( looked like a Caucasian in her 20s) appraoched me particularly and asked me in her broken english if I am going to 'garo'?

I said 'Yes' for three reasons.
(A) the impact of my 'Gare Du Nord' stay
(B) the Leonardo Express, which I was about to take then - to reach the city
(C) the way it was pronounced by her.

She was glad that I was guiding her properly and just got herself tagged to me without asking more questions. There were no immigration clearance, since our flight was within Europe. After clearing my check-in luggage, I went to the Airport Express train station and bought the ticket for the city.. She too took it, eventhough she asked me 'why?'. I explained her that to reach the city we need to take a ticket (a funny reply!!). I thought she was too naive by asking these type of questions.

This Leonardo Express, normally takes 30 minutes to reach the city. In the middle of travel, she asked me the time of our flight. I didn't get it initially. Again she asked, the time of our flight to 'Cairo' by showing a flight ticket.

I was shocked completely and slowly realised the effect of my understanding her broken English. I told her that I was not going to Cairo (Egypt) - but am going to the City. It was her turn to get shocked then and was about to cry immediately. She realised that she cannot get back to the flight even if she returns back from the city to the airport (timing was so close, then).

She was so tensed and started checking with some neighbours in some other language. (she should have done this earlier itself. So, unfortunate!!) She couldn't do anything more than that.. She started asking the other person about the solution and never even turned to me. After reaching the Rome Station, she started her efforts to return to the Airport. Should have cursed me a lot then.

Later I realised, the reasons for her approaching me. Couple of times, I have been approached by people asking whether I am a Pakistani - due to my complexion, moustache & hair. So, this lady might have thought that I was from the Islamic states going to the destination where she wanted to go.

Sometimes, I don't get these european accents easily and that time it was so miserable..(Cairo Vs 'garo' Vs 'garee'). Believe, that girl would have reached her destination in the next flight to Cairo. Prayed to the God at that time, on behalf of her..... for my deed.
187th post

14 Comments:

Blogger Rags said...

Trust me these accents kill us all.. I am trying to count how many people I would have irritated with our great accent...The counting never stops...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous GP said...

Ooh poorr... paavam, both of you.. Since you also could not forget it. It doesnt come under 'mistake' for either of you. Just a misunderstanding, but I know it hurts. Just for wrongly directing one girl to a faculty about in the top floor of our building, when the actual facultyl was next door, hurt me the wholeday. Worse, I saw that girl sitting outside the office on the floor after sometime and our eyes met.. I couldnt smile nor wish her.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:52:00 PM  
Blogger Aatma said...

Don't worry Ram, it happens, you were being nice, unfortunately it didn't work.

Hopefully the girl would have found her way back without any more problems

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger tt_giant said...

adappaavamey!. hope she reached her destination in time!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 5:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Rags.. welcome. Eventhough that is a funny part on our side, the reaction from the opposite side would be definitely irritating as you put it. Vice Versa too..

GP.. U r right. Sometimes, we need to pity both the persons.. more particularly the victim.

Aatma / Deepak.. That's what I believe and wished for.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 8:14:00 PM  
Blogger Me said...

hahaha thappana bus la yethi vittavey adutha stop la erangumodhu samma kovamaa irukkum ...ippdi panniteengalay....:)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 8:37:00 PM  
Blogger vee-jay said...

Ha ha Ram, I had a different experience. In Amsterdam I had to catch a 8.30 am flight and was on my way to the airport. There was a technical fault and all trains were halted.... I checked with a localite and she gave me wrong directions to the airport. and yes, I missed the flight and took the next flight to my destination. What an experience!!! But no, I did not feel like cursing that lady - after all, it was my fault - not knowing the local language :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

ME.. ellam neranthaan.. avanga neram.

VJ..So, you were at the receiving end!!! That Lady should be lucky that you didn't curse her.... :-) :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

Note to self: Never ask Ram for directions!

> I have been approached by people asking whether I am a Pakistani - due to my complexion, moustache & hair.

- I am often being asked whether I am a Sri Lankan - due to my complexion & more particularly when I say that I speak Tamil.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 1:12:00 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

Yeah,
My friend and i had gone for a haircut around the new year time. He had a moustache and we talked in tamil.
The barber asked me if everybody is safe at home after the tsunami. We were talking abt the devastattion and he said, 'yeah i read the north eastern part of ur country is affected more'.

What??
Then we realized that he thought we were srilankans ;)

Thursday, September 15, 2005 3:23:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Chakra.. a small correction, "never ask direction to Ram in an unknown strange language".... I can play around with my thaimozhi and 'kadan'mozhi!!

It seems you & TJ hv the same experience of being mistaken as Srilankan tamils... it is most likely.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 6:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ganesh said...

Ram interesting read
happened to me many times.
people think I am latino or mexican.
and talk to be in spanish. All I know is to say
Senor/senora me no espanol :(

Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Oops, very interesting story Ram. I am guessing now, that if someone approached you, you'll plainly say 'Sorry'

Wonder what happened to that poor lady.!! But these things do happen.!

Thursday, September 15, 2005 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Ganesh.. Probably you can start learning spanish, since the no. of latin americans may increase soon ... :-) :-)

Mr.Narayanan.. If it is an understandable language / accent, I don't think I will say 'sorry' if I know the way... But, I agree, it happens occasionally.

Thursday, September 15, 2005 4:32:00 PM  

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