"Is the soya one good here?", the man dressed in blue stripped shirts and equally formal pants asked.
"I am not sure, I havent tried."
"My friend has and heard it is good.", I added.
"Where do you work?".
This one alarmed me so after trying to mumble some company in silicon valley, I blurted out my company name.
He then said where he was working and some blah, blah. I nodded and moved from that spot.
When I finally got the take out, I saw he was sitting alone in a table. That sort of disturbed me. Problem let me spell out is AMWAY. I have had atleast twice a year random stranger approaching me in malls/safeway/lucky(yep that is our grocery store name, it also gets heard as yucky). And I always think of them as AMWAY. My theory is I dont see any necessity for an Indian living in south bay to strike up a random conversation with another person just because they are Indian too like it is common in those sparsely populated areas of US. In gradschool town, we used to even strike up conversations with Srilankans. But here, we are too many of us.
And also considering the spread of AMWAY among desis, the probability of this randoms stranger turning out to be one of those ~=1. But what if they arent and were really strangers looking to strike a friendship in new land/ just someone who was looking for company during a lunch? Like the girl in the mall in an Indian dress who looked so fob. Damn you Amway, not sure how rich you guys get but but there is no Vimosanam' for this fear you have instilled in me.
Ps: I know, I could have cut off once the AMWAY topic comes on, but most days I am out of patience in this aspect or my shyness creeps in/ feel talking is too much of effort but mostly i dont want to talk even if there is a remote possibility of AMWAY.
In case you didnt know about AMWAY/ even if you did, AMWAYs in bay area are a special species and you should know about them. The species appears dressed in formals if male, and something more normal if female and usually appears wandering in some random aisle at walmart/ Ikea/ mall on a weekend. Yes, the species is more likely married and works in tandem with the partner(do they get married just for this? you might ask and I think that is a very good question). More likely to be found on a saturday than a sunday(why? coz they have a life too?) but dont count on it. Then they strike up conversation with strangers tapping on desi-desi bhai-bhai or bhai-behen. Couple of minutes later, you are exchanging phone numbers. When I was caught, I mean I was warned by my friends and yet till it happens to you once, you wouldnt know, they started talking to me straight away about work, how arent we all dissatisfied with work? I stopped them here and said no, I could hardly be with just a month's work. But then they assured me in five year's time I would (Wow, just what a newbie had to hear:)) and proceeded with how I could be a millionaire in few years. So I cut them off right there with a false number.
Others are even more crafty. A friend who was looking for a job in the previous recession was misled over a couple of meetings. Another friend who moved to bay area couple of years ago, had to go endure lot more than that and still didnt know how to cut them off. My own brother on a visit was caught right under my nose before I can mouth AMWAY, they had exchanged phone numbers. As they say in tamil, ethallam oru puzhapu?