Thursday, July 14, 2011

difficult conversation

He obviously had a hard time with the hot summer weather. Something seemed exotic or strange about him. I watched for a while, but as I suspected him to notice me staring at him, I brought myself to ask him where he came from.
»Tibet«, he replied curtly.
»Oh, I guessed you come from far away. So are you a political refugee?«
»Not into politics. Don’t like them.«

It has always been my conviction that it is wrong to just mind one’s own business, as we are all affected by the decisions made in the political realm, but I didn’t know the guy and to avoid an argument, I decided to change subjects. (He also seemed to be a lot stronger than I am, by the way.)

»So why did you come to our forest then?« I asked.
»Travelling.« He didn’t seem to be much of a talker. I tried something else.
»So what do you do for a living? It must be very expensive for you to travel so far, you must be doing well. How do you pay off your credit card?« (One of the few things I know about Tibet is that it is not a rich country.)
»Credit card??« There was a fierce gleam in his eyes. Not a good idea to talk about money to a stranger. So another quick change of subject.
»So how do you like it here?« There we go: your all-time favourite standard question to a tourist. »Good to get away from all the snow for a while, huh?«
»Snow. Really fond of it … I miss snow …« was he sobbing?
»Come on! A man like you!« I tried.
»I’m not a man. I’m a girl« it whined.
I was puzzled. That was quite a beard for a girl! But I kept this thought to myself and stayed with the nice and safe tourist questions.
»Where do you plan to go next?« I asked.

This time she smiled.
»London. I’ve been told it is a cool place.«, was her reply.
»It is so hot here«, she added.
»You shouldn’t wear that fur coat in summer«, I told her.

»Fur coat?«

going to a cool place