Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Saturday night

Pretty typical. Made drinks using our bounty of farmer's-market produce. Met a guy in his 20s who lives in our building. Within 10 minutes of meeting him he offered to drive us to Punakha next weekend (5 hours each way) and take us camping. When he found out I played soccer he offered to let me play with his office team. Standard.

(This is pretty funny since he works as an agronomist specializing in mushrooms at the Ministry of agriculture. Apparently their office league is broken down by their intra-department specialization. I.e., his team is made up of all the mushroom people, and they will play against the wheat people, or the chili people.)

We went to the corner general store/bar to have a beer with our new friend, who told us he lived alone. Come to think of it, he told us a lot of things. He pretty much immediately told us he was lonely and wanted to be our friends, after which he made the standards Bhutanese offers to take us anywhere and do anything we wanted. Bhutanese naivete can get really annoying, but this just illustrated the beauty of people who are so innocent. I mean, what's the point of not appearing desperate? Everyone wants friends. So what if two random guys at the bar think you're a loser? We spend so much time posturing. We have so much invested in our image in situations where it doesn't matter at all. A grown man basically asked us, "Will you be my friend?" And we will. It makes me wonder what kind of response you'd get if you went around asking people this in the U.S. after knowing them for five minutes.

As it turns out, his credibility was compromised anyway when an older woman walked into the bar and started arguing loudly with him. We could tell some major drama was happening; these things transcend language. After a while he turned to us and explained, "This is my mother. She says I should come home because it is late. But it's only ten!"

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