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the answer to the question

vegetable samosas - yummmmm

vegetable samosas - yummmmm

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.

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