I went for a haircut today. The kids wanted to tag along because I was going by moped.
Barbers are loquacious everywhere and this one was no exception.
"Where do you live?," he asked as soon as he'd shown me to my chair.
"Chennai," I said shortly, not wanting to get a whole conversation started.
A couple minutes later, he asked, "What language are your kids speaking? Is it Hindi?"
"No," I replied, "it's English".
"If you live in Chennai," he persisted, "why are they talking English?"
"We used in live in America," I said, backpedaling furiously.
"Where's your house here?," he asked. I told him. "It must be your cousin, then," he said, "who lives in America. Your uncle comes to this shop. He's kind of short, you know"
"Oh, it's me," I told him, "I'm the one who lives in America." We were going to have that conversation after all.
"It says in the paper," the barber said brightly, "that Bush's wife didn't get enough votes."
"Clinton's wife," I said, "Clinton's wife didn't get enough votes"