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.