I LOVE Indian food. SO much. I live in Podunk, USA, as you may recall, and we don’t have much in the way of international cuisine [aside from Italian and Mexican]. We actually do have access to Indian food, though. There’s a guy here in town, who runs a place that serves Indian 3 nights a week. The rest of the week it’s Italian. But you can imagine that it might be hard organizing folks to go get Indian with me, in a place like this. And it is. So, I mostly get Indian food when I’m out of town.
But last week I was talking to an Indian guy at work, and we were discussing how we both love hot food. And how we both go to Taco Bell and request a lor of Fire sauce…and substitute beans for whatever meat comes in whatever we’re ordering. (I’m a vegetarian [ovo-lacto]. He’s not a vegetarian but he doesn’t eat a lot of meat.)
Anyway, I mentioned that I love Indian food and he was like – really? And he asked what I like. I told him I pretty much like anything with vegetables, cuz I’m a vegetarian. And then he was so happy [even tho he’s not veggie] and he was like – “wow! I never knew you were a vegetarian…” So we continued to talk, and he said that I could come over any time, cuz his wife always cooks a lot, and they have lots of leftovers. [Actually, when he found out I was a vegetarian he said I should just get a room in their house, and move in. To which I replied – “be careful, with this economy, I just might.”]
I mentioned some of my favorites [all time: aloo gobi. when I ate meat: chicken tikka masala.] and this guy said – you know so much about it, you could be an honorary Indian. So I told him about how, when I was leaving Chicago, a cab driver there asked me if I was Indian, cuz he thought I looked it. I replied, “No, but thank you.”
That’s when another guy who was sitting at our table, chimed in, with a question I’m sure he’d been itching to ask me.
“So, what are you, then?”
And without any thought at all, I replied, “American.”
He was actually kinda interrupting our conversation, and so I went back to whatever we were saying…but didn’t anticipate that all of the people around us would burst into laughter the way they did. Now, I think that this guy might have been a little embarrassed with the way that turned out. He didn’t say anything else, but then…I don’t know.
I didn’t think any more about it, other than that I was kinda surprised that so many people found my response humorous. But it turned out, this was a story good enough to tell – because a coworker who was there, made a point to tell another coworker who wasn’t there – to give them a good laugh.
And maybe it is funny. But that’s who/what I am. American. For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live, til death do us part.
I don’t think I’d have it any other way.