Friday, October 06, 2006

"Can I Speak to Mr. Singh Please."


Yesterday I was sitting in the waiting room in the Citizen Advice Bureau. It was an EVENTFUL waiting time. I walked up the stairs and entered the Office. I was looking for the Reception. Infront was a room, which peeked into. An elderly gentleman was sitting there and asked, "How can I help you?" I said, "I am looking for the Reception." It was a bit of WEIRD conversation because the elderly man spoke to me as if I couldn't UNDERSTAND ENGLISH and slightly patronising. Chalo, I found the Reception desk and got my ticket number to see an advisor.

I sat back in the waiting room. It was a very SMALL ROOM with two elderly white people, one middle aged white man and one young dental student from India. As soon as I sat down the elderly man asked, "So, WHERE are you from?" I replied, "I am born HERE." "Naa, I mean, which COUNTRY you come from BACK HOME?" I said, "PANJAB, in Northern India". He said, "Aaah. I know, I know. THE PUNJAB." I was slightly baffled by the conversation. Referring to the Indian dental student and myself, the old man said, "I don't mind EDUCATED young people like yourselves coming to our country and making something of yourselves - do good in EDUCATION and EARN A FEW BOB... then GO BACK to your own country and enjoy life. Or stay here if you like our country. We don't want any old RIFF-RAFF" I looked at him just smiled, trying to avoid having a debate.

Then the conversation turned to about the local hospital being possibly closed down. The middle aged white person said, "Nowadays there is too much bureaucracy. Managers in suits are being paid for nothing. There are too many CHIEFS not enough INDIANS." Then he looked at me and said "Sorry, NO OFFENCE to you mate." I looked at him and didn't know whether to laugh or not. It was hilarious.

Then the elder man said, "I know YOUR LOT! Once I got my CAR FIXED from one of YOUR LOT. He was from HAYES. Yeah, I needed a car part for my car. I rang the man and he said come to my house, which he had turned into his Car Garage. I asked how should I find you. He said, "Just ask anyone for MR. A SINGH and you find me." He went on to say, "I got to Hayes and it was all your lot everywhere. I pulled over and asked someone, "Can I speak to MR. SINGH." The man replied, "WHICH MR. SINGH - you will find five thousand of us around here." I thought "O No! O heck!" I rang him and got to his house. He was a very nice man, a really nice man. He gave me a GREAT BARGAIN."

I think the man was genuinely nice however his way of talking was slightly crude. It was a good one-hour time pass.

3 comments:

SikhSpeak said...

lol, I am in this position almost every day!!!

I am come to give the answer "I am born and brought up in England; I am a British Sikh by Ethnicity" becasue this confuses all the oldies I say but my Parents are originally Panjabi ... Seems to work ok!

Mr SikhSpeak Singh from Hayes (",)

Anonymous said...

Oh Waheguru!
Hey Manna.. Rab Rakha!

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

"I am born and brought up in England; I am a British Sikh by Ethnicity"

Very good answer Bhaji :)