An Inuit Story

Always share your beer.  While living in Mexico, my dear friend across the hall was visited by an Inuit.  This Inuit liked cheap beer and had worked in Kolkata and lived in the apartment we’re living in now.  She loved Kolkata and she loved a drink after a hard day’s research.  As my friend didn’t drink, the Inuit sought me out.  She happily partook of beer left over from parties or brought over as a courtesy that I wouldn’t have finished off (vodka tonics preferred), and I left my door open to facilitate access at any hour.  It was kind of nice coming home to find a plate of salt, some partially spent limes, and a bottlecap or two on my kitchen counter. 

Earlier this week, out the blue, I received a call.  “Hi, I’m a good friend of the Inuit.  She mentioned you had arrived.  Shall we have some dinner?”  This is how things are done here.  This is how things should be done everywhere.  And so, because of the Inuit, we now have two new friends, a good place to eat spicy chinese food, and an entree into the Kolkata high-life.  I am ashamed to say, though, that I could never quite catch the Inuit’s friend’s name even after two phone calls, dinner and three-too-many whiskies on the rocks.  So I’m guessing and playing dumb until I can catch a glimpse of a business card or an email, or until I rummage through his trash can as a last resort. 

Inuits have 7 different words for snow, they say.  Maybe this guy has 7 different names, but in any case, 7 “thank-you”s to the Inuit. 



  1. am getting embarassed of being the only one making comments. Anyway here it goes:

    A line that works for me is to ask:
    “How should your name be pronounced, I never say it because I’m afraid of misspeling it. “


  2. You’re my loyal readership! Don’t abandon hope now!

    Good suggestion, except I don’t know if his name is a common one in India, so it might end up like me asking, “How should your name be pronounced, Bill?”


  3. Go on the offensive. Accuse the Inuit friend of having mispronounced your name. Or when in doubt, emphasize the second to last syllable. Though that doesn’t help with one syllable names.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s