Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Straight Talk

We were reflecting the other day with some fellow team mates how Mongolians don't mince words, and aren't afraid to tell you if you do something well, or badly.  They are not overly polite.

Last night was a volleyball context, the second this year I was asked to participate.  Both have been for the parents of the girls schoolmates.  It's a pretty good idea actually.  You get to have a chance to mix it up with all the other parents you've been passing in school hallways all year.

So this morning, in the hallway, a lady whose kid is in another class met me on the stairs.  She greets me with..."You're tall, but how terrible you play?"  From my stunned silence, she guessed that I didn't recognize her with her sunglasses on and without her spectacular serves, bumps and sets from the previous evening.

I told her I do recognize her.  She says, "well how about basketball?  You wanna place a bet on one-on-one?"  Out of another stun I was narrowly able to muster, "now?" She said "no", thankfully and something else, but I was already inching away, easing down the stairs.

I often think of Mongolians as indirect when it comes to confrontation or conflict, like other asians perhaps.  But when it comes to calling it like they see it, they can be pretty straight up.

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