Weird things that have been happening to me over the past few weeks:
1) When I was coming home in the MTR, the guy sitting next to me was playing with a Rubik’s cube and when he actually solved it I gasped. So he turned to me and handed me the thing and asked me if I want to play and actually started giving me tips. This is amazing because Chinese people never talk to strangers on the MTR, leave alone brown ones.
2) In the elevator in my building, the other man in the elevator suddenly turned to me and said: “Are you Indian?” and when I said yes, he said: “It’s so clear” and started talking to me in Hindi. I was so shocked, I could only gape like a goldfish and then burst out into a giggle. This is amazing because a) as mentioned above, Chinese people rarely talk to people in the elevator except their own family/friends, and certainly not to brown people b) How does this man know Hindi?
3) Went to straighten my hair and the shampoo-girl (shampooist?) started talking to me in Hindi. It turns out she’s Nepali. As sweet as this is – the Hindi I mean – it’s really embarassing because my Hindi sucks and then I have to choose between attempting to explain why my Hindi sucks or just continuing to stammer in Hindi until they get the point and shift to English by which point I am too crippled with embarassment to say anything. My kids are definitely going to speak Hindi… or maybe Malyalam, or Canto… well, something local other than English.