December 12, 2009

The 3 wise monkeys...not so wise choice (Part 2)

“I am not just sure if anyone who gave me this thinks I am evil or like a monkey,” he mused.

Evidently, he hadn’t heard much about the 3 wise monkeys. I slowly shifted myself to a safe distance from him so that he or anyone else would not see my face just in case it gave away. I had more to worry about because if he didn’t understand the monkeys he would definitely not understand, and like, what I wrote in the card. Boy, was I glad we were to be anonymous about our gifts! But some of them were proudly proclaiming that the gifts were from them, and in no way was I going to do that. Well, not until I give it a thought and then maybe write to him later and explain my intention, which was in no way running parallel to his thoughts now.

To make matters worse, I suddenly realised he was a German. My worries quadrupled! Just few weeks ago we had a racial fuss in the class where one of the class mates who felt victimised by racism made an outrage by posting several stuffs about Germany’s past history, using words like ‘cruel’ and ‘evil’. Of course this had nothing to do with him or the few other Germans in the class, but it is understandable that if someone talks of Bhutan and I would feel the pinch even if I am not the Bhutanese they are referring to. Thankfully, that was resolved very quickly much to the relief of all of us. But here I was, wretchedly forcing the sunk memories to resurface. Damn!

So you can as well tell now that he had his reasons of self doubt. I can only console myself simply for the mere fact that I wanted to give him something that he could, if interested, keep it with him for the rest of his life, and that all that he was thinking of were outrageously out of the world and never an inch close to my intention. Did I think of him as a monkey? No man! Did I think of him as Evil? Come on, he’s one of the most formal class mates I have been with. I have always appreciated his professionalism and had a deep respect for him. So there I stood, watching him silently and hoping he won’t read the card, because he was found to misunderstand. But that’s the beauty of Murphy’s Law, the thing you don’t want to happen, happens. He read it. If there was a hint of smile of his face then, it was completely gone now. I could see more blood on his face.

I hadn’t thought what I was dragging myself into when I wrote the following;
“Hi (Name),
You are the fourth monkey! So, “Think No Evil!”
Merry Christmas!
Your Secret-Santa”

Let this be a lesson to you all as well. Gifts with intent of humour can back fire when it involves cross-cultures. Now let me sit back and hope he googles up the three monkeys and gets the good meaning. Messing up his Christmas is the last thing I had in mind. Teaches you good to monkey around. Phew!

1 comment:

  1. Haha..Whether you guys intended to have a fun session or not, I certainly had fun reading through it. That's the thing about studying outside; living on the edge and unpredictable circumstances.

    Keep writing. hh