Friday, March 24, 2006

Meeting people offline - part II

My most interesting offline meeting was with Irfan (28,Pakistan). Finally I met face to face with a person I initially met on Yahoo! We did not meet in a chat room but rather through a friend of his I "found" while browsing the Yahoo! member directory...

I really enjoyed meeting Irfan. We had many laughs even though on that first day we were standing; we stood there for about 30 minutes.

I was amazed at how short the man actually was; he takes pride in not being as short as I am! I had never met a Pakistani person before I had so many things I wanted him to tell me. And yet I did not know I would meet him that day and I did not have a question list handy - kidding - .
I was in a familiar environment where a few people know me, as usual, many were staring at Irfan because he's a foreigner and looks nothing like a Haitian in spite of his claim of us being the same color, and of course he was in uniform accompanied by others also in uniform.

Hopefully, the people staring at us were behind my back, facing Irfan. I did not see them but I did hear the comments that Irfan did not understand because he does not speak our language (Creole). " Oh, she's talking to a blan ".... blan is the word Haitians use to refer to foreigners, it literally translates to "white" though it does not mean the person is white but just that he's not Haitian, Irfan for that matter is not white.

Irfan has this too-rich-for-me-English vocabulary, hopefully I have a dictionary to help me when we chat but during live talks I have to ask him to use simpler, more commonly known words. This being said, our different accents are not a big burden, we understand each other at least at 80%, most of the time. Initially we were supposed to go to a pizzeria and have cheese pizza but since it was Ramadan (Irfan is muslim) we had only two foodless meetings.

See, I did everything by the book, we met in public in a place where the people know me. Now what more can I say. Nothing. Anything more you would like to know?

The second meeting? Oh yes. RAS, Not much to say about it.

The second meeting was different. He came to my workplace. Not the ideal place to meet someone I can tell you. But he insisted so much on coming to meet me, he wanted to see where I work and usually when I allow a person to insist a lot I do ultimately give him/her what he/she's asking for, and I have to admit I was looking forward to meeting him again.

So he came one morning, after having him drive around a bit because I gave poor directions and he got lost. It was funny to hear about how far away they went before finally reaching me. Was it worth it? For me yes and no. For him, I don't know I never asked.

I felt a bit under pressure, stressed as if we were being observed. Unlike the first meeting, the people who were seeing us together this time are people I see daily, my coworkers and I was thinking about how they would talk about it behind my back. We weren't doing anything wrong we were only talking but I always worry about things like that. Other than that, Irfan looked the same if not just a little bit more excited to meet me this time. I looked worried, I think. I did appreciate him coming to visit me, it was nice of him.

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2 comments:

teresa said...

you are a nice person and also pakistan men are handsome!!!!!!! good luck

Marguerite Jasmin said...

Thank you teresa