I could tell the old lady seated next to me on the flight was excited about the cruise that she had just been on.
"The boat was really big!"
I should have held my book (Anatole France's "Penguin Island" - a book everyone should read) in front of my face and blocked eye-contact with her. But when I felt her poke my arm to tell me about the amazing ice-skating show on the cruise, I calmly accepted my fate.
"The skaters had such pretty costumes!"
Images of bloodied ice-picks, fatal avalanches and devastating snowstorms filled my head.
"How was the food on the boat?"
"It was wonderful", she said. "So many different types of cuisines!"
All FOCs ("fresh off the cruise") seem to always talk about the food on the ship. "It's just like being in a city!" (OK, so why go on a cruise? Just go to a city. I know - it must be the ice-skating show.)
Then the lady changed topics and asked me where I was originally from. I gave her the coordinates and braced myself for questions on outsourcing and call centers. Thankfully, she did not touch upon those topics. Instead, she told me something else.
"Oooh, India! Boy, that's a long way from here! We had waiters and waitresses from 54 nations but the Indians were the best! They spoke good English, they were efficient and got our food on time."
What can I say, that's my people.