India Uncut

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Friday, September 22, 2006

On feeling cold

Cold is just a fancy marketing word for a particularly unpleasant form of pain. We should just call it what it is: pain.
Scott Adams relates his experience of, um, feeling cold.

I had a similar experience three years ago. I had to go to London in December for a couple of meetings, and my boss advised me to take thermal underwear with me. "Thermal underwear!" I scoffed. "Pah! I can do winter. I was born in Chandigarh!"

Such arrogance. Indeed, I was born in Chandigarh and winter had been my favourite season as a child, and I'd also been to London before and felt just okay. (That was when I was ten. I was also taken to Paris then, where my father tried to make me wear a monkey cap. I wanted to look cool for the chicks and refused. "I never feel cold," I declaimed.)

Anyway, I did buy thermal underwear, and I remembered to pack it, but I did not wear it on our first night out. We went to a pub with some colleagues, and we were indoors when the cold struck me. I had on a jacket and a sweater over my shirt, and despite that, at one point of the evening, I understood what cold meant.

First I just felt a bit chilly, like "brrr" and suchlike. Then suddenly I found my boss looking at me kind of funny, as if his eyes were trying to focus. Naturally: I was vibrating like the randiest Nokia cellphone ever. "You're not wearing thermal underwear, are you now?" he asked, as four white men stared at me. (You do not do this to a good brown boy, ok? Please. Never.)

"It's a bit chilly," I said. "Maybe it's the jetlag. I was born in Chandigarh. I'm a huge fan of butter." Yes, by this time coherent thought had vanished from my system, and I just wanted to dive into a bowl of steaming hot soup. But there was only beer on the table, and just looking at it made me want to die. Beer? These Brits drank beer in this season? No wonder they always lost the Ashes. (This was three years ago, remember.)

Anyway, the evening eventually wound down, with my colleagues no doubt wondering why I hardly spoke and gradually got as close to sitting in a foetal position as is possible on a chair. When we went from the pub to our car, I was almost yelping every step of the way, and trying out new Bollywood dance steps. That cold.

The next day I wore thermal underwear (and other things as well) and went shopping. I was in Barnes and Noble for about seven minutes before I realised that I was as wet as an underwater mop. Immense sweat had come. Heat was felt. Coherent thought was again vanishing.

Oh, how I missed India then.

(Adams link via email from n.)
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