Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A "Desi" in Brussels



No, it is not about me although I also qualified for the title last weekend. This is about the desi shopkeeper in Brussels. His shop is located between Gare Centrale and Grand Place. He is a Kashmiri but speaking Hindi in a Punjabi singsong manner. He greeted the tourists in a loud welcoming manner and also joked about the difficult ones to me in a normal conversational tone never giving out the sarcasm or the joke to a casual listener.

He had also a lot of advices and anecdotes to share. Don't give your camera to anyone barring fellow Indians to shoot a picture of you. Don't let anyone come near you. He explained an incident in which a kind passerby turned out to be a thief. It was a surrealistic incident. Someone gives the camera to a passerby. The passerby moves back and further back to get a good picture. Then he runs away with the camera. The other incident was when someone came so close in the pretext of asking questions and then snatched away the necklace. All these happened in the broad daylight in a busy street in Brussels.

I listened to him with patience in spite of him delaying me from my destination with his anecdotes. He was sad when people smirked and ignored his advices. According to him, they are naive thinking these incidents never happen in Europe.

Later in the evening, I dropped in to his shop since I had promised to do so before going back to my hotel. I picked a bottle of water and two beers. He refused to accept payment. He gave it as a gift.

Tags: Musings,Desi,Brussels

12 comments:

  1. aww how sweet of him!

    but seriously...ppl running off with ur camera! in "phoren"! haaa! one myth busted for ppl like me who have never been to europe.

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  2. @Sujatha - Though hard to believe, this is the truth. Europe has been infamous for pickpockets. Even before coming here, I have heard stories about stolen wallets, stolen laptops etc. There is a new breed of criminals on Metro now. They come closer to you inside the Metro. Just before the door closes, they snatches your smartphone and make a dash out of the door!

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  3. Ha Ha! That guy has a real warm heart. Such people in an alien country make us feel good.
    Felt good reading this article.
    Though, shopkeepers engage in conversations for 'maska maarna' task usually. there are some genuine people too.

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  4. @SpicySweet - I agree about "maska maarna" routine. Yes, that was also in the agenda for this shopkeeper. At the same time, he was also genuine. :)

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  5. Hi Nona!.This kind of people are numbered few and rarely seen nowadays.Nice article!.

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  6. @MyKitchenFlavors-BonAppetit! - Thanks for dropping by. Thank you and I agree with you about this being a rare species.

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  7. Always a pleasurable experience to meet such people .The camera thing and mugging in Europe ,i have heard about it before too.Keep us posted Nona :)

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  8. @Kavita - Rightly worded. A pleasurable experience. :) Thanks. Will keep you posted.

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  9. awww.. he was really sweet... at times you meet such amazing people and then remember them all your life..
    Must be a wonderful experience :) :)

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  10. @Madhulika - It was nice to meet this person. It is good to know there are good natured people still alive.

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  11. wow very interesting...nice to come across such people yar...feels gr8:)

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