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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Mystery Behind the Nod, or Bob.

I was trying to apply for my India visa earlier but first i needed some answers.

1) I forgot my passport but i have a photocopy. Is it enough?

~ wobble wobble~

I looked at the guy beside him (Singaporean Indian i assume) for a translation. He said "No, you have to bring your passport here."

2) Did i fill my form correctly?

~ wobble wobble ~

Singaporean Indian translated to me, " You need different addresses as character references."

3) Can i use correction tape to correct that or i need to fill up a new form?

~ wobble wobble~

Singaporean Indian translated to me "You can, but there's no need to."

I WAS SO AMUSED. Indians wobble their head from left to right, when asked a question. It's neither a nod for a yes, nor a shake for a no. It could mean a maybe but this documentary says it is NOT a maybe.

It's 9 minutes, but it's pretty interesting. There's more hand signals to scold somone other than the commonly used middle finger. As usual, the Japanese and their weird antics...we usually do the finger circling the temple signifying "he's crazy". To the Japanese, that means intelligient. Unless, you do it ANTI-CLOCKWISE. That, means crazy.

In Singapore, many people show the number 3 like the OK sign.
But in America, 3 is signalled like this:

Imagine, if  a US spy is among our midst, we would be able to detect him simply from hand gestures! Therefore, it will be good to watch the above documentary. To avoid trouble because of our ignorance as we are now more widely travelled.

All in harmless humour, here's a pretty good explaination with the head wobble.

Trust the Indians to come up with an ingenius idea for a Unique Selling Point, even for a small hawker like a Rojak stall.

I'm not sure which is the original one (there seem to be imitation singing rojak man), but this is the most rythematic.

I look forward to visiting India for a culture shock this March.
1) Visit the tomb of Mother Theresa
2) Attend a traditional Indian wedding
3) Visit Indian Museum where they have everything from a Mummy to the skeleton of a whale
4) Find out if India really smells of cow dung & coconut oil everywhere (it's good luck if a cow visits you and dumps in the middle of your living room!)
5) Buy the authentic Karma Sutra (the one where the pages are yellow like a Kungfu manual. Yellow with age, not anything else!)

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