Unfiltered Story #119709

, | Unfiltered | September 7, 2018

(I’m a white woman who has just returned from a four month trip to India. My coworker is of Indian heritage, but doesn’t speak any Indian languages. We get a lot of Indian customers and some of them speak little to no English.)

Coworker: Hi, what can I get for you?

Elderly customer: Big order! You Hindi?

Coworker: No, I’m afraid I can’t-

Elderly customer, in Hindi: I would like three small hot coffees, a vanilla latte and two chocolate muffins.

Coworker: (My name), I need you to translate!

Elderly customer, in woeful Hindi: Oh no, he does not understand. This will be difficult for me.

(The remainder of the conversation was almost entirely in Hindi.)

Me, in Hindi: Hello, sir! It shouldn’t be too hard! Can you tell me your order?

Elderly customer, looking almost alarmed: You understand me? He doesn’t know, but you know? How do you know my language?

Me: I lived in Delhi for four months. I studied Hindi and taught English.

Elderly customer: You married Indian boy?

Me: No, I was a teacher. I studied Hindi to be a better English teacher.

Elderly customer: But no foreigners learn Hindi. I’ve never met a foreigner speaking Hindi! You are a special girl!

Me: Thank you! What was your drink order? (Coworker) can get it started while I ring you up.

Elderly customer: You are a better Indian than this Indian boy! This will be very easy for me!

(At this point, my coworker was face palming in the background. The Indian gentle took a few minutes getting over the shock of me speaking Hindi, and now comes in regularly!)

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