Baniyas, a few kilometers from Abu Dhabi. This was more than 25 years ago. I was invited to dinner at a chieftain’s home somewhere in the desert.
About a hundred men sat crossed legged on the floor around the carpeted dewan. I sat beside the host, an elderly version of Captain Jack Sparrow – same headgear, coal around his eyes, rolled up sleeves, a tattoo visible on one arm.
When dinner was served, we ate with our hands. I made the mistake of finishing the food faster than everyone else. I was hungry.
When the chieftain saw that I was done, he licked his fingers and scooped more rice with that hand from a big plate and poured it on mine.
“Kul,”he said, encouraging me to eat some more. What did you think I did? I nodded, smiled, and finished the meal.
To decline would be to offend the man’s honor. No choice
I was standing at a curb waiting for a cab. A young lady appears and stands in front of me. She knows I am waiting for a cab. She keeps looking at my direction and then starts to move forward nearer to the bus stop. This is a typical Singapore culture of being afraid to lose. But I am a believer of fate and if fate wills it so be it. Then I see a taxi coming. The young woman flags it down. But the cabby doesn’t stop, and instead drives towards me. I raise my hand and it stopped. The young lady stares at me with that “What magic does he have?”look. I asked the cabby why didn’t he stop for her and he replied that he couldn’t because she was standing near the bus lane. The moral of the story is…