I know I should keep my mouth shut. I always knew it.
It does not come into action that easily though.
I land in an unknown city with roomies that qualify as blind dates ( Yeah. Thanks to Google again)..but I should have taken it easy on being myself right away.
I started out with making rules right after I got over my jet lag.
So, I took up the task of writing Standard Operating Procedures for everything done around the house. They liked me for my neatness and cooking but like I always do, I overdid it slightly and one of my roomies blew up like an out of control reactor. :)
Let us not go into the details of what caused it. I think what I eventually did about it makes a more interesting story.
So she gets angry in Tamil and starts calling up all the Tamil people in Brisbane. I was upstairs in my room sobbing my homesickness away while my other roomie explained to her the new "code of conduct" ( That I had meticulously designed in the morning while my Tamil roomie was away).
I can understand when you have a language barrier in love. Sometimes it adds to the romance because both the parties invest special efforts in learning the other's language ( Thanks to Learn Gujrathi in Two Weeks) but when you have a language barrier in anger it ends up really complicated.
So I had to rush down as she broke down and started crying in Tamil. Since I had already offended her so royally she was unwilling to translate any of that into English for me. So I forgot my homesickness ( which had more to do with the bathroom floor in my current house not being squeaky clean than anything back home) and began consoling her in my ghastly Hindi. Then I switched to English. Somehow I sound more arrogant than I already am in English so I switched to the funny Hindi again and ran around behind her with a pack of tissues. The third roomie was away visiting her uncle in a suburb called Kenmore close by. So she was controlling the proceedings of our fight using our free Optus to Optus minutes. She kept hurling more Tamil lines at me and I suddenly found my sanity and decided to shut up. Every time she said something I used to tell myself, " Oh maybe that is what a B***H is called in Tamil". The language goes faster with stronger emotions and it was like a roller coaster ride for my ears.
Then the one tucked away in Kenmore came to my rescue. It was around 7.30 at night and out of the blue she asked me if I could pack my bags and leave her alone and come to Kenmore. Usually I would have declined this offer for a lot of reasons but I found myself saying yes even before my brain could completely process the question. So there I was, half sobbing and half terrified standing on Bus Stop 158 waiting for a bus that would take me away from Tamil vocabulary. I kept remembering everything my mom had told me about not travelling alone at night.
I left at 8:15 and I was probably the only passenger on the bus. With a rough idea of the route and my cellphone to help me figure out.
As soon as the bus started, it took the pretty road by the river and I was already feeling better. It was like a kid being distracted by fire crackers after getting a scraped knee. The bus driver ( contrary to my mother's opinions about drivers on empty buses) was a very gentle guy. He made sure that I got down at the right stop and I was safe with the girl I wanted to meet.
Then I met her uncle's dog and I suddenly realized how easy life becomes when no languages are spoken.
Like my roomie puts it ( the one who is not awfully mad at me and who listens to Floyd and lends me her skirts)
I laughed about it the next morning over a cup of tea.
So every time I am going to something new or meeting someone for the first time, these people tell me " Saee please don't come back with a fight". Actually that is not how I want myself to be seen but it will take a lot of toil and patience to change my first impression in Australia. :)
I have learnt my first lesson.
If you want to push around people and feel good about it, pick people who speak the same language. ;)
That could mean a lot of things actually!