Expat Faux Pas - Mea Culpa time
(I moved this from the Politics and Society section to this forum where it should originally have been posted)
In the spirit of Adriana's thread about us expats getting the strangest/funniest/obnoxious questions asked of us, how about we turn the tables and confess to our own ignorance or misunderstandings.
I have 2 quite atrocious and completely unintentional examples of where I essentially, made an ass out of myself. Both are in regards to India, a very complex country filled with multiple languages, faiths, states, political parties, regional politics, food and other issues I am sure to have missed.
1) In Mumbai, my husband was driving a colleague to work and I just happened to be in the car. We got introduced and he said he was from Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. Before I could stop my mouth from responding, I said (and I knew the moment the words exited my mouth what a moron I sounded like and knew the difference): "Oh, Tamil! As in Tamil Tigers?" Thankfully, he was a good hearted fellow and politely replied, no, not the Sri Lanka terror group. It's just the name of the State. He and his wife were just lovely and fortunately, he overlooked my cringe-worthy comment and became friends.
2) In Riga, my son's schoolmate is from India and his father is quite talented at languages. Leaving a birthday party where he spoke Latvian (a very complicated language) with local parents, I made mention of how impressed I was with Indians and their ability to be fluent in so many languages and (now this is where my verbal diarrhea started) how my housekeeper and driver spoke 4 languages apiece to include Italian. I was so embarrassed to think I may have inadvertently associated this well educated businessman to my former staff Protected content because they are Indian, was mortifying and that I wanted to dig a hole and bury myself on the spot. Perhaps he didn't take it as a dopey comment (I hope not) but out it came like a giant poo. Foot in mouth.
So, there ya go. Anyone else wish to confess? It'll make you feel good.....haha