Archive for November, 2014

Being an Alien in a Small City

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20, 2014 by Dev!l

When I was a kid, my father used to tell me that whenever teachers wanted to teach a foreign language to an alien, they used to send him to a small village where he/she had no choice but to pick up the said language. At least that is what he used to tell me whenever I used to ask him how he came to learn Sindhi. I always used to wonder what it would have felt like to learn something this way; by diving into the deep end of the pool. I mean I’m someone who has always took the safe approach to things, perhaps that’s why I never bothered jumping in the deep end of the pool even after my swimming instructor explicitly asked me to do so, just so I would learn to keep afloat on top of water. Well, ten years have passed since then and now I finally know how it would have felt like if I would had indeed jumped in the deep side of the pool.

It’s been almost a month now and apart from learning a few food names, some pleasantries and the phrase: “Please, can you speak English?” I don’t know a single word of German. For those of you who don’t know, I live in a small city (well to be more precise somewhat of a modernized village, in my view) and people here mostly get by without bothering to learn or speak an ounce of English. Of course, the younger generation does speak English quite well thanks to modern advances in the field of internet but hey, there are always easier ways to be officially charged as a pervert/pedophile.

Now, don’t take any wrong meanings, people in big cities tend to speak English as fluently as Eminem high on caffeine but that’s about it. If you’re anywhere else, you would have a better time finding someone who knows Klingon than of locating someone who would understand a single phrase being uttered from your mouth.

The only bright side is that at least my professors have the courtesy of staying true to the advertisement in the brochures as they teach in fluent English. Which to be honest is quite a surprise considering that the official mode of teaching at many institutions back in Pakistan is English but that’s as funny as a joke containing a priest, a rabi and a mulla walking into a bar naked.

Now, I know that one can learn swimming by jumping in the deep end of the pool but there’s a reason why this method is usually not recommended! The reason being that in the worst case scenario you would end up drowning or worse: pronouncing words like RatHaus (rat house) and Deutsche (Douche) like they would sound in English in front of a German.

Of course, living in a small city does have its advantages such as being able to recognize people by their bus stops or the ability to traverse the entire city boarder on foot within an hour or two but that’s about it.

Since this is a small city, there is not much diversification to speak of. The times when I really feel like seeing something of mixed color, I just make my way down to the local supermarket and stare down the chocolate aisle where the dark chocolates are placed next to the brown and white ones since I know that this is as close to diversification as I’m going to come. However, every now and then, I do tend to meet an occasional dreamer out chasing a unicorn but hey, I have too much dignity to stoop that low.

All in all, it’s not really that bad but then again I would really have had preferred moving to a country whose language I was able to speak. But you know what they say, “Beggars can’t be choosers” and in my case that certainly holds up.

The Randomness Blabbering Continues

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2014 by Dev!l

Life here is somewhat strange. It’s not that the feeling of being alone haunts my very existence, au contraire it’s the feeling of being alienated that’s making me feel bewildered beyond my comfort zone. You have to understand that I have had always took pride in being able to vanish into a sea of people almost seamlessly but here that’s not really possible as I stick out like a wolf in a herd of sheep. No more can I just sit and observe while being invisible. In fact this time around I find myself the subject of scrutinous looks and glares.

That being said, somethings however still haven’t changed as I still find that my behavior is “internationally” considered as eccentric and somewhat of a muse to the people around me. For example just the other day I found myself interacting with a group of girls that I had never had met or for that matter never will meet again in a particularly weird way. Apparently I was just sitting there and laughing at them while they just looked at my friend and me and did the same. The fact that my friend kept calling me nuts didn’t really help the matter. Or the instance when I found myself just jumping and waving goodbye to a stranger in a moving train as he waved back with equal vigor. This really went to show me that no matter who we are, or where we come from, we nonetheless are the same in more ways than we care to admit. Though we still can’t ignore the role that race, creed and our social upbringing plays in making us all but forget that at the end of the day we are nothing but humans.

For me life has just begun but I can’t help but to reflect back and wonder how each wrong turn, each mistake, each major incident in my life has made me who I am. That being said, I still can’t help but feel ripped off as I still have to meet someone who felt a certain elation when given the chance to chase their dreams. Instead, all I have met with are people who still are scared of what they will do when their dreams come crashing down. To be honest, I’m no different from them but I guess that’s where I can take the easy way out and opt out of delineating my express feelings.