One thing you probably shouldn't say while in a taxi

I hate Indian food.

I mean I REALLY HATE it, I continued. I've tried to be a good sport and go to a restaurant with people who loooove it and I actually GAGGED the minute I walked in. I couldn't take it. I didn't eat anything.

My friend: What about the naan? That's good.

Me: I took one bite. It has some spice that made me gag more.

My friend: I don't love Indian food but I like the naan.

Me: Ugh! I can't even think about it.  And people always say "Oh, you just haven't had good Indian food." NO! That's not it! The smell, the spices, I gag. I hate it! I just HATE INDIAN FOOD! I HATE IT! I MEAN I REALLY REALLY HATE IT.

Cab Driver: I'm Indian.

Me (to myself): Why am I such an idiot?
Me (aloud): Oh ... really? ... Do you cook?
Me (to myself): Honestly? Why am I such an idiot?

Cab Driver: Yes. When I go home tonight, I will heat up some oil, throw in some vegetables, throw in some curry.  It smells delicious.

Me (to myself): Should I tell him I plan to visit the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala one day? I'm just not going to eat anything  ... a spiritual/Biggest Loser adventure.
Me (aloud): Oh. Mmm. Wow. Huh. What else do you make?
Me (to myself): Seriously?

He went on about the things he loves to cook. I tried to make it sound like he'd completely changed my view on Indian food. I felt that bad.

Later, I couldn't help but wonder, why did I feel so badly?  After all, it's really just a matter of taste (literally).  I'm not choosing to strongly dislike Indian food.  I just do.  I can't help it.

But, I think I felt so bad badly because I was so very emphatic about how much I dislike it.  Sometimes, I can be ... overly demonstrative.  I didn't want him to think someone who hates Indian food with such a passion must also hate Indians! Never! I actually wanted to say "I might hate Indian food but I've never met an Indian person I didn't like." But, I figured I'd talked enough.

When I thought about it some more, I wondered - how would I feel if someone said they hated Italian food? I mean they really HATE it. The smells, the spices, all that garlic, what a greasefest. ICK!

Well, I would think ... that's just because you've never had Pat Fernicola's meatballs.

And, so, the Indian cab driver who loves to cook was probably thinking "That poor young woman with the New Jersey accent, wearing that ridiculous white fur vest. She thinks she hates Indian food but that's just because she's never had my mother's curry!"

Yup.  I'd bet on it.

He might have also been thinking "I should dump her ass in 'Little India,' pelt her in the head with naan and tell her she's dressed like a tart."

But, he didn't.   Whew.  And, since this is Stop and Blog the Roses, for that I'm grateful.  Thank you, dear cabbie!  Friend!

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