- June 05, 2012, Tom Bezigian
A random guy walks up to me and asks, "Where are you from"? I responded "New York". He went on to tell me how "we love Americans". So far so good.
He went on to tell me how his people are suffering under US policies. He asked if I could guess where he was from. Damn!!! I was told not to talk about politics or religion. Now I am trapped. Under pressure, I responded "Palestine". In retrospect, it should have been obvious he was from Iran. He told me he was from Ishfahan, which my Rotary friends tell me is one of the more beautiful places in Iran.
Trying to divert the conversation from going hostile (though there was never a chance of that happening), I immediately told the man that I was friends with the leading dissident in the U.S.A. His immediate response was "Chomsky"? "Yes indeed", was my answer.
As it turns out, this man is a professor of linguistics at the University of Malaya, as is Noam Chomsky. It is a very small world indeed. He told me that his dream was to meet Noam. I offered to get him a personally signed book, and have put the two in contact with each other, and now have a friend for life. As he left, he took my card, kissed it, put it to his forehead, and lifted it to the sky, which my host told me was a good thing and that he offered me blessings. I'll take all I can get.
What a wonderful encounter. This can be classified under "Ploys" more than Poly.