Our second meet-up of the day was a different type of reunion. We knew Susie only through her blog. I talked about her so often that John felt he knew her as well as I did. I took only one photo, and that will have to do. Susie is beautiful, and her face is lively when she talks. I could kick myself, and you would be right to chastise me, for not taking a video.
We didn’t go through backgrounds or family histories. We jumped headlong into conversation. I realized she expected to see us laugh, since I write about silly things. I hoped she wouldn’t be disappointed and promptly forgot about it. She took a number of pictures to send her family, promising to send them to me. I should explain that Susie is getting a master’s degree from Yale, while her daughters are attending medical school and doing post-graduate work in India. Her husband is working abroad, but he and Susie will be moving back to India in the near future. Good to her word, Susie sent me the photos, and I couldn’t help giggling. She had caught us laughing. Now laughing is not necessarily pretty, but this was certainly genuine.
For dinner, we wanted Susie to have an American experience. We spotted a diner, hoping the food would be good. The place was owned by friendly Greeks who allowed us to chat at the table for hours. We were totally surprised to learn that she came from a Christian state, one of three in India. (Sorry, my numbers are always suspect.) She grew up surrounded by other Christians. In fact, the churches there are always crowded, often with people standing outside to hear the service. The United States used to be considered a very Christian nation, so imagine Susie’s shock at finding all the churches within walking distance of Yale mostly empty on Sunday morning.
I wanted to know what languages she speaks, knowing she had complete mastery of at least two. The answer was five or six. (Again, I’m sorry I don’t remember numbers.) I had no idea that each Indian state has its own language. She explained that if the language were based on Sanskrit, she would be able to learn it fairly easily. Could she switch easily from one to another? The answer was yes. If someone spoke to her, she would automatically reply in that language. To someone who knows English and reads music, that is astounding. Switchers that I know include daughter Lise, friend Gerhard, and niece Celine.
We also had a serious discussion about higher education in the United States. Susie has talked to a number of foreign students who agree with her. Her gentle observation is a scathing denunciation of what is being taught. Being politically correct is more important than teaching content.
Friends, and that is what we are, talk on many levels. We enjoyed being with Susie, sharing both serious and amusing moments. Neither of us ever expected to meet in person when we first followed each other’s blogs. To have shared such a wonderful evening was beyond my dreams.
Click here to see Susie’s blog.