It Is Interesting (Flash Fiction)

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Flash Fiction #143

Two colleagues come into the little lunch room in their office at noon one day.

Non-Native Speaker: “Look, I brought you one pound of sticky rice cake here.”

Native Speaker: “Oh, thanks, but why? What’s the occasion?”

Non-Native Speaker: “Last time when I showed you what I was eating, you took a look and said, ‘it is interesting.'”

Native Speaker:”Oh, it is interesting no doubt, but…”

Non-Native Speaker: “So you are not really interested?”

Native Speaker:”Eh…”

Non-Native Speaker:”I like that look on your face– too polite to tell me the truth. I understand that when you say ‘it is interesting’, you mean it is weird and you are not interested but you are too courteous to be candid about it. So… I am just pulling your legs. Forgive me. And now I am going to eat this sticky rice cake for lunch.”

Native Speaker: “You are… interesting.”

Non-Native Speaker: “Wait a second. What is that supposed to mean?”

27 thoughts on “It Is Interesting (Flash Fiction)

    1. This is supposed to be an English trait. We invite people to visit us never expecting them to want to etc. Genuinely interesting that we are not the only nation that isn’t straight-talking. There are so many of these. “With all due respect” is never an intro to anything respectful etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, so true. At first I was really surprised that people can be so positive. I actually tried to emulate, but only to feel like a fraud. I am more happy with my Asian bluntness. I guess I need to develop the aesthetic feeling and the mental curves for such an undertaking.

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        1. Yes – I think Americans exceed the English in being positive and gushing. We in the UK often laugh about that! English insincerity is quieter and more snide. In the UK you are expected to be able to “read the room” or “sniff the air” (as I believe the Japanese say) in order to decide what people really think. It’s okay if everybody is on the same wavelength – but unfortunately a lot of UK natives can’t manage it either!

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        2. You really bring up such an excellent point. I often try to describe the “awkwardness” and “disconnect” when a person from a different culture steps into such a room and can’t read the room or unable to sniff the air. I just can’t describe it. It is something beyond words probably, which means verbal description is incapable of depicting it. I had in many instances being put in such a situation and I felt I was not in tune with the general mood. I felt like an outlier and couldn’t gauge the environment. It was a very curious feeling. Part of it, being a human, one could detect certain things just by being present; and the other part of it, being of a different culture, one couldn’t analyze a lot of implications.

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        3. Awkward yes – I imagine being in that room myself. Some comedians have made a living out of setting up real situations like that (eg Sacha Baron Cohen). But although I laugh at his shows, I’m laughing through fingers held over my eyes. It’s painful.

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    1. Thank you. That’s very sweet of you. I love gel like food too, but some people don’t like it. LOL. And I heard of people telling me “it is interesting” before. And this is where the story is from.

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