Tuesday, April 03, 2007


rosh on a lazy Saturday afternoon, walks into Starbucks close to his apartment in NY - orders a venti coffee black. About to sit down in a corner couch with a tennis magazine - when Ms X, walks by with friends, spots rosh, comes over and....

Ms X - hey rosh, what's going on? nice to see you here

rosh - hey Ms X - likewise - you look lovely today

Ms X - what in these? rosh you sweet - so what's the deal rosh, you come here often?

rosh - yea, this is my weekend sanctuary

Ms x - rosh you funny - I come here often with friends, guess we never ran into one another. so you by yourself?

rosh - yea pretty much

Ms x - well would you like to join us then?

rosh - sure

Ms x - introduces rosh to her friends - Ms y and Mr a

Ms x - guys, this is my friend from work, his name's rosh

Ms y & Mr a - hey rosh nice to meet you

rosh - likewise, pleasure

Mr a - so you live in the area rosh - yea, couple of blocks down the street

Ms y - are you new to NY?

rosh - no, been here about x years, sort off

Ms y - that's nice - I love your accent, are you an English?

rosh - thanks, am not English

Ms x - rosh is from Dubai

rosh - I am from the UAE

Ms x - I thought you were from Dubai?

rosh - I was raised in the UAE and Dubai is a major city in the UAE

Ms x - oh so Dubai is not a country then, like Singapore?

rosh – true it's a major city in the UAE - like NYC in America

Mr a - I know about the UAE - my uncle in the military used to be stationed in Abu Dhabi - it's a nice place, he loved it there

rosh - yes it's a well kept secret - well almost, these days

Ms x - so rosh you speak Arabic - you Arab or middle eastern

rosh - sorry, don't speak Arabic and no am not an Arab or middle eastern

Ms y - you are American?

rosh - nope, not American

Ms x - so who/what is your background rosh?

rosh - I was (born) raised in the UAE , attended school in NYC, worked in Dubai for a while. my parents are Indian and my dad is part English

Ms x - so you are Indian?

rosh - yes sort off

Ms x - have you lived in India, do you speak "Hindu" ?

rosh - no, I've visited India about 6 times - it's Hindi and yes I can follow Hindi

Ms x - so you are not a true Indian, like Mr b our Indian colleague at work then?

rosh - perhaps?

Ms x - see I thought you were some English Indian/Arab/Middle eastern guy?

Ms y - hope you don't mind me asking you this - you Muslim or Hindu?

rosh - neither am Christian

Ms x - but then I've seen you avoid bacon and alcohol at the office Christmas party - however you loved the steak?

rosh - I guess that's 'cause I was raised in an Arab/Muslim nation where we believe bacon/pork is bad meat and people didn't drink alcohol as much.

Ms x - so you are a United "States" Emirates citizen?

rosh – no – btw it’s United Arab Emirates

Ms x - but you've always lived there? are you American then?

rosh - no

Ms y - hope we aren't making you uncomfortable, so what are you? are an Indian citizen?

rosh - oh no, that's ok, not a problem. I am a xx & an xx citizen

Ms x - oh you've been raised or have lived in xx & xx countries then?

rosh - no, my parents have

Ms y - ok am a bit confused - you were born/raised in the Middle East - yet you are not an Arab or speak Arabic or United "States" Emirates citizen. You are Christian, you speak English with an accent - you have these multiple citizenships from countries you've never lived in. You "are" Indian - but have never lived in India. Plus you are not a Hindu or a vegetarian - you eat steak & meat but not bacon/pork or drink alcohol?

rosh - (now feeling a bit embarrassed/unsettling) - yes sort off I guess?

Ms x - well that's most interesting. We've all been born/raised in New York and Phili all our lives - so this is new to us (smiling)

Ms y & Mr a – yes it’s interesting -we don’t even have passports yet.

Ms x - I just requested mine last year, given our business travels - didn't have one prior to last year.

rosh - so you've never travelled outside the United States then?

Mr a - well I visited Canada a few times with my family

Ms y - and I've been to Mexico city

rosh - you must travel, it's a fascinating world out there

Mr a - so rosh, who are you then?

rosh - (thinking) - guess I am sort of a hybrid - perhaps a global citizen of sorts?

Ms x to Mr a - that's fascinating isn't it?

rosh - (now smiling) yes perhaps it is : ) - allow me to buy you all slices of banana nut loaf.



I want a banana cake as well..

rosh said...

and you shall, if you promise to visit me in NYC on your travels to the US : )


Sure..why not?
Just check for me on Enriques concerts please :)

Hot Lemon& Honey said...

lol IYM,

rosh said...

deal ! :)

BuJ said...

oh boy.. this story happened to me so many times here in the UK.. and by very educated people.. uff..

but i feel for u

when i stayed in cambridge, MA for a summer course back in 1997 I remember asking 3 kids from my dorm (this is an ivy league college, ya?) where is canada (e.g. north? south?)? the responses were:

1-is it a state?
2-is it a city out of state?
3- boston's quite northern, so it must be south of here.

localexpat said...

I'm gonna use your own words that you mentioned on my blog when i talked about the exact same situation i had:-

"aha one of my fellow "species" - welcome to the blog UAEian : )

I love this post - it's the STORY OF MY LIFE!"

MD said...

lol...sweet! I wanted to laugh in between and then it all just ended with a smile :))