Sunday, December 21, 2008

Czech to Chennai

I was in my hometown Chennai for a visit during May this year. Me and my brother were traveling to a suburban area and we entered a roadside restaurant.
As I was placing orders, I saw a European tourist with a heavy bagpack entering the eatery. She looked around curiously and before I could say “Hi,” she approached me and asked, “Where is the restroom please?”
I guided her. She asked me to take care of the baggage. Returning after three minutes, she thanked me. “Welcome to Chennai. Where are you from?” I started off.
“Well, it’s a place called Czech Republic,” she replied casually.
“Oh, you are from Prague,” I continued.
She looked surprised. Many people here have not heard of my country, she said. “I better know. Klaus is your president, right (I hope so)?” I asked.
She was a little impressed. I introduced my brother and we parted as good friends. She said she was proceeding to Pondicherry for a meditation session.
Personally, I have high regard for tourists. No one can deny that there are also brutes among us who misbehave with such goodhearted travelers. I feel rage gripping me if I read any news of travelers being illtreated. If there is a proposal to stiffen punishment for crime against tourists, I will be the first to raise my hand.

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