Monday, September 14, 2009

Is it just me or....?!!?!?

Okay It happened again today... i gotta write about it...

I been to a wedding today morning. At the end of the ritual, was standing in the queue to wish the newly married couple. Wished them in a perfect Dutch way. (with 3 perfect kiss-cum-touch on cheeks)

Now there stands family and relatives, I tried to observe what others were doing and yes every one ahead of me were greeting them as well. So I keep walking, I do not know what to say, and I see everyone ahead of me in the queue making a conversation.

*Come on Lopa, you can do it*
*Yes i can* *No choice*
* Confused smile*

I shake the hands, say hello, wish congrats to a few and keep walking to avoid making conversation, as that is something I am worst at!
But my luck!!! ( How did i even think i can get away that easily !!)
Gorgeous lady walking ahead of me stopped. ( As obviously she was good at it, not stopping, at talking.)
So I had to stop too. (Aaaah why why why?? :o( )
I think it was groom's dad or may be uncle or may be.... I do not know. I shook hand, said hello and then unsure what to say next I stared at him, surprisingly he stared at me too.

( How?? why?? Or was it on my face that this stupid girl does not know what to say next, or may be I have a look on my face that people get confused what to talk with me, or may be I have an aura that makes other person forget how to carry a conversation!! He was perfect with all ahead of me, so definitely it has something to do with me !)

Looking at the odd moment I opened my mouth to say something... and nothing came out...
*More confused look *
That gentleman also felt it and he opened his mouth and nothing came out as well...
* Awkward smiles*
And finally he found something to talk....
He: met collega?? (English translation: with colleagues?)
Me: hmmm, ya...
* A big smile*
And thank god!! That very same moment - Queue moved.

I ran and didn’t stop anywhere till reached the open space to have some air!!
Why does that happen to me? I feel so anti-social. Sometimes it is so annoying; it is not I do not like to talk. I can talk endless. But not with everyone and not everywhere. I feel very quite when strangers around.

But I used to talk with strangers as well back home; here I think it might be language.
I understand a bit of Dutch now, but I do not speak and when everyone is talking Dutch around me I feel lost. I can understand a conversation only is it is pointed to me, one to one conversation. When everyone was talking and making laugh, I feel lost, my mind stops!

Yesterday I was talking with my childhood friend. She told me that she feels at times that she has forgotten how to make friends and that is exactly I feel now. I have forgotten how to make friends. I have forgotten how to carry conversation ahead of Hi, hello, How are you doing? So where are you from?? Aaaah nice. FULL STOP.

I wonder is it just me or it happens to others too??

P.S. From the comments I am getting on this post, it appears that everyone takes me too seriously :o)
I wrote this post in a light mood, just to make a laugh of a situation :o)
So don't worry guys, I am not being hard on me. And i am sure i will have better with my improving Dutch knowledge ;o)

Image Courtesy: Internet - Google Image


Arunima said...

I am very good at conversations. :-)

Unknown said...

Lopa, don't fret - you'll get better at social occasions once you get to speak the language better! I think we've all (expats) been there, awkward moment when you don't know what to say! :o)

Vani said...

Hey, don't be too hard on yourself, Lopa. We've all had those moments. It's true for me too that while I know tons of people and we meet often too, I don't really think of most as my "friends". I don't know if we get pickier as we get older and just don't care as much, but the quick friendships of school and college days don't seem to happen later in life.

thamarai said...

Oh, I agree with a lot of what Vani said Lopa. As we grow, we become so restricted to even talking to Indians around us. Especially when we meet people from different cultures, it becomes harder...and don't worry at all it is something that everybody faces..

But some things I keep in store for such small (Dutch love to talk about it), food, how the place is beautiful, historic significance and blah blah..

So dont worry we are all together insane, its not just you...:D

vivek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vivek said...

he he he!!! now that's my sis! ;)

Droomvla said...

Been there, done that! LOL

I think it's quite confusing who to listen to )on such occasions); and we get all the more confused because our brain is busy postulating questions and sentences in Dutch without trying too hard and sounding too stupid. Meanwhile, the brain is also processing all the noise it hears! LOL

Next time, just think of him or her as the cashier at the grocery. That trick always helps me.. because you never run out of things to say to a cashier. ;)

vivek said...

I agree with all the comments above.You are not alone and lots of people feel the same way.Please do not be too hard on yourself.

~ Lopa said...

@ Arunima

Lucky you :)

@ Aledys Ver

Yes i guess you are right. Right now because of not knowing the language much, my data processing is slow and sometimes ends up with no result ;)

~ Lopa said...

@ Vani

I totally agree, I remember how we used to make friends everywhere we go, waiting for a train, on trip, in bus. It doesnt happen anymore and i even dont expect it to. This was just about how sometime we feel at loss of words !

@ thamarai

Hahaha so you have got that tip too? I got it when we moved here last year and so far it works at office or other social gathering :)
But this was about wedding where everyone was standing in the line to be greeted, now there we can't play our winning cards you know ;)

Nithya said...

The different language and environment does slow up the data processing ahahha. Ask me been in Bangalore for almost 2 years now but once I leave for office I just want to rush back home. Be with myself only. I dont have friends here only colleagues. Even the slightest of efforts of developing friendship bonds are dampened. But I think will take time. Once I know ppl their language and lifestyle well can sail through.. Need to implement a bit of "In Rome do as the Romans do"

~ Lopa said...

@ vivek

ya ya bro... aav bhai harkha, apne bev sarkha ;)

@ Droomvla

hahaha, that's an excellent piece of advise... Really you do that? ... thinkinf of one as the cashier at the grocery !!! I can imagine how it doesnt go wrong ;) hehe
Will try on next occassion ;)

~ Lopa said...

@ venkat

Thanks Venkat for stopping by and commenting :)
I will like not to be alone in such situations ;)

~ Lopa said...

@ Nithya

ya true, look how we still hold those school and college friends close, still we can talk about anything and everything with them ... but with growing age that doesn't seem to happen anymore with people we meet now :)
Lets go back and live all together, so we will not have to face this real world ;o) :oD

Nithya said...

Yipeee I vote in hands down for this option Lopa.. Lets have our Friends colony..
Actually I still don't get tht feeling of comfort with new ppl or friends I always wanna run back to my old friends...

Swatantra said...

That cute post!! Best is allow the other to speak and you will make friends...

~ Lopa said...

@ Nithya

Yes, name itself as FRIEND's Colony ;) Lets do it, hehehe

@ Swatantra

Thanks :) yeah, sometimes i do that, no choice when you don't understand what other person is talking about ;) lol [ Because of the language, here Dutch ;) ]

dipali said...

hey lops its just language problem ..otherwise nothing is wrong with u lady.....

Unknown said...

I was thinking - next time, just address the person in English and be done with it! Just relax! :o)

~ Lopa said...

@ dipali

hehehe, you know better ;)

@ Aledys Ver

Yes, you are right.
It was just as everyone around was talking in Dutch, my mind got confused ;)

Vani said...

Ha ha.. we were taking you seriously! :) And in my comment, I was also reacting to your statement about having forgotten how to make friends :)

Lizzy said...

Lopa, this has happened to me as well after moving abroad. After I moved to Holland and was constantly hearing foreign coversations all around me, I eventually began tuning it all out. It kind of turned me into a withdrawaled person and I forgot how to make conversations as well. There's also something about talking with Dutch people. Maybe they have a different syle of interacting that isn't on the same page as ours? I too, experience the awkward staring at each other with nothing to say moments. I also feel a lot more shy and introverted than I used to at home. I get strangely nervous and feel like I can't breathe in social situations. I have always been slightly shy in certain circumstances, but living here has deeply intensified that. Weird isn't it?

~ Lopa said...

@ Vani

But it is true, isnt it? what you said about having forgotten how to make friends :) I trully agree with it... :)
And it was really nice of everyone to be so considerate :)

~ Lopa said...

@ Lizzy

Awwwww, this is what i meant... This is exactly what i say... even when i am trying to learn Dutch it is difficult to interect. I fear I am becoming more and more introward and may be socially in-compatible :(
It makes you feel lonely at times, and i hate that feeling :(

Lizzy said...

Of all the feelings I have experiences since becoming an expat, the lonely feeling has been the most intense. I'm glad to find someone who has experienced the same thing. I'm hoping it will gradually get better. Some things just take time I suppose.

~ Lopa said...


Totally, same here... cannot agree more :)
And yes definitely, we will meet more people over the time and will find some of similar wave-length as ours :)
It is always a nice feeling to share... and see we are even making friends and connections in such a short time by sharing :)

Anonymous said...

We change with growing age & is our perception towards life.As we grow old , our perception grows faster & then only perception makes the thinking not our mind. I m writing this from my own experience

~ Lopa said...

@ Anonymous

That stands true, as nothing lasts forever, so does our thinking and our perception.

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