Sunday, January 14, 2007

wobble wobble

Indians have a very direct way of communicating that I find so refreshing. Their speech is very polite, but many of the tiring extra goodbyes and thank yous have been cleanly snipped away.
My favorite element of communication with Indians is non-verbal. It's the side to side bobbing of the head that is so uniquely Indian. I was completely baffled as to it's meaning for the first couple of days here. Is it no? yes? maybe?
It has a range of subtle meanings. One clear bob to the side is a definite "yes", while a gentle back and forth bobbing could mean, "yeah", "perhaps", "This is possible", "it remains to be seen", etc.
I'm only beginning to decipher the subtleties. It can also mean "thanks" (as when you are served something at a restaurant), or "you're welcome" and "no problem".
These last few days have been spent indulging in a tropical beachside lifestyle. This beach (Arambol) is the northernmost developed beach in Goa, and doesn't have the burned out, washed up feel of Anjuna and the British expat beaches to the south.
There is fierce competition among the new age health programs and courses here, with possibilities to take reiki, yoga, capoeira, tai chi, thai massage, and meditation. Somehow, the proliferation of options turns me off to the whole idea. I did take a tabla lesson from a guy named "raj", and if I can get my hands on some to practice with, I'll continue the studies.
Gotta run, time for a Chai.

1 comment:

David said...

Anyone wishing to hear this well-mannered, empire English for themselves, simply call the helpline number of any major UK bank as many calls are outsourced to India (Indian accents being clearer than most UK regional ones).

Sadly it is not yet possible to experience the distinctive head wobble over the phone - perhaps HSBC could make their call operatives wear bells on the sides of their heads for this reason?

Seth, your bike is doing fine! Only one crash to report so far and the rider came off far worse in that one.