My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

27 August 2006

Two Stories With The Word Hug

Here are two very fresh/recent little anecdotes:

This guy at work comes to ask me to do something for him. I've seen him before but I never got to know him. He's fairly new and seems like a super nice guy. Anyways, so he comes and talks to me about something, showing me a piece of paper. Then all of a sudden, he starts stuttering. Stuttering is really an understatement. He just kept repeating same 2 words... for a looong time. I thought it was a glitch in the Matrix at first cause his stutter wavelength, if you will, was identical each time. I couldn't take my eyes off the paper cause I did not want to embaress him.

So he's still stuck on those 2 words, and I feel like if I interupt his stutter pattern in any way, he might go back to normal. So I say a few meaningless words just to knock this stutter out of balance. It works, and after maybe 30 seconds of saying the same 2 words he goes back to normal. I look up at his face and I can tell he is trying hard to act normal and pretend like nothing has happened. His eyes were a little teary and he couldn't look me straight in the eye. He looked so vulnerable I just want to hug him, pat on his back, and tell him
"it's ok, don't be ashamed, man... I would never judge you or laugh at you... we all have our imperfections" Of course I couldn't do any of that so I just played along like nothing happened at all.

I was invited to a little birthday party at a restaurant, for this girl I knew. It was ok, I got to talk to people that I haven't talked to in a loooong time. The birthday girl was a sweet & cute girl that I never got to know very well. I had a few pointless, Egyptian style, discussions with some of the invitees, and realized how much we all have changed yet how unbridgable the gap between us still is. So me and my friend decided to call it a night and go home. So we get up and start the goodbye rituals. I look at the birthday girl, she looks at me, and we approach for the farewell.

Now I was going for double-cheek Egyptian kiss but apparently, she was going for the one-armed hug. So we come closer, she reaches out with her left arm for the hug, at the same time I grab her right hand for the hand shake and lean forward for the first cheek kiss. She puts her arm on my back but she realizes that I am going for the double-cheek . And I realize that she's going for the one-armed. So we each change our strategies! I lean back thinking that what we just did counts as the one-armed hug, even though we shook hands and I already simulated the kiss sound. However, she was now going for the double-cheek thinking that this is what I wanted. So as I go back to the straight position, she leans in, pulling me with her left hand, trying for the second cheek kiss. But since I stood my ground, and since I'm a bit taller than her, she ends up basically just hugging my right arm and ramming her face in my shoulder! Everytime I think about it I keep laughing at how pathetic I can be...


Blogger La Gitana said...

The second story sounds just like something I would do. hahaha. I always miscalculate what kind of goodbye people are going for. I've actually managed to kiss a girl on the lips by accident because of it.

1:50 AM

Blogger Chris in MB said...

I've found interrupting a stutter works well like you found, just act as if it's nothing & continue with the flow of the conversation. Just don't try to complete the words for the stutterer. Some may feel it's condescending.

Regarding story #2,
I'm glad we don't do the "double-cheek" kiss or "one-armed" hug over here, sounds complicated. I wouldn't even know how to do it.

I'll stick with slapping them on the rear & saying, "see ya later babe!" :P
(just kidding)

6:01 AM

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

wow!! great Goodbye Choreography!!!

i had to act that out to see whatyou were saying....makes for great dance moves!!!

:D ( still laughing)

8:16 PM

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

in India something similar to this is when people start to do the "namaste" and the other person sticks out his hand..then halfway through they each realise what the other is doing and then start to do the other's it never ends!!

8:18 PM

Blogger MechanicalCrowds said...

Gitana, welcome to the club!

Chris, didn't know that about completing words... I just did that to him today! Thanks for that...
The double cheek is nothing but touching cheeks on both sides and simulating or attempting a kiss. The one-armed hug is not an Egyptian thing, you just hug the person with one arm!
That slap sounds practical hehe.

Grafxgurl, you'll have to educate me someday about this namaste, never heard of it before. Glad you liked the dance ;).

7:04 AM

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

its putting your palms together vertically in front of you and bowing.

thats it.

Indian custom.

and can i add you to my list of caffeinators ??!?!?

7:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Pinky looking furious walks in with one heck of an attitude…)

Enough talking, now let's get down to business here dude, where is the music? Where is your very own music, ha? I want it and I want it now, do you hear me? Now get back to your sweet folders and upload me some good music right now, you got that? 8-@

(Pinky walks toward the door, turns around and gives a sharp look right into MC’s eyes, turns around slowly and slams the door behind!)

10:55 PM

Blogger Leilouta said...

I have the same problem here in the States. I always go for the double -cheek kiss when others go for the one-armed hug. I always end up hitting them in the head :)

11:38 PM

Blogger still breathing said...

wow! do u know that few ppl really act like u in the 1st one?
i've seen it happen b4 and the guy yelled at the stutterer which caused her to even stutter more.

u r a nice guy :)

2:42 AM

Blogger MechanicalCrowds said...

oooh so that's what that's called! Please do add me to your list, but beware, caffeine can be addictive!

My next post will be political/religious. And you know I thought about the music thing and you know what? I don't think I want my music to be forever associated with my political views! So I might just send the music to you. Don't be so harsh on me :).

I'm glad I'm not the only one! Sometimes I don't know which cheeck comes first, right or left!

Still Breathing,
Have you read How To Be Inconsiderate? ...not so nice :).

10:36 AM

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

okeydokey. you have been linkidinked :D

3:43 PM

Blogger still breathing said...

ok..i've just read it and OMG! u invaded that guy's digital niche!!
but that was out of curiosity not lack of empathy...anyway i expected a different reply.

ppl usually say they'd kill themselves if someone said they were nice.
Interesting, funny, smart maybe. But 'nice'???

2:22 AM

Anonymous AChangeOfHeart said...

I dont know why you felt that you cant tell him its okay, or just forget about it. I think that type of thing comforts the person more.

But if you ended up hugging him, that would just be too weird.

5:50 PM

Blogger shlemazl said...

How come your English is so good? Where did you learn it?

7:10 AM

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:15 AM

Blogger MechanicalCrowds said...

Still breathing,
I've read your comment a few times but I was unable to decipher what you want to say. Help me out :).

I don't have the courage. I also think that playing along will make him less embaressed than talking about it.

My English sucks man... you should read something by Forsoothsayer, now she's good.

9:22 AM

Blogger Grafxgurl said...

your english is perfectly fine.

i got asked all the time when i was in Canada too... its like.. anyone who isnt white cant know good english or something... sigh...

9:29 AM

Blogger still breathing said...

i was just surprized that u didn't object to the idea itself of being called "nice".

1:03 PM

Blogger shlemazl said...

I used to be asked this question all the time when I first came to England from Russia. It has nothing to do with the colour of your skin; my skin is as white as it gets.

The curiousity is natural as it is not easy to learn a foreign language unless you actually spend a few years in a foreign country.

1:55 AM

Blogger stillsmokin' said...

LOL! somehow the second incident occurs too often :)

5:29 PM

Anonymous Blacklander said...

I liked both ancedotes a lot, especially that I literally lived them on many occasions before.
Maybe Egyptians are collectively more similar than they usually think.

Everytime I encounter an awkward situation, I come up with a counter-strategy reducing the whole thing to a computer code.
You and your friend -for example- shared a tendency to changing stances to accomodate the other, when you run into your own kind just don't change whatever you're going to do and they'll play along.

12:06 AM

Anonymous Jellicle said...

LOL! I have not laughed out loud so hard, sitting in front of my computer, since someone sent me this video!
I was just girlishly googling trying to gain some into the half-hug I just recieved at a party, I don't even care anymore. Thanks for sharing the folly. I hate when that happens!

3:30 AM

Anonymous Jellicle said...

I forgot to leave the link to the video...

Now mind you, I wouldn't normally laugh at something like this... go ahead and try not to laugh!

3:32 AM


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