Friday, 4 April 2014

TX - 75093. First Impressions.

For nearly 30 years of my life, when I have wanted to switch the fan on, the TV on, the light on, the... well you get the idea, I have pressed the switch down. While travelling in trains I have flicked the switch down and then stood on the seat and used a pen or a comb or a newspaper to stick through the fan cage and get the blades running. But the switches always went down.For the last two weeks of my life the switches have gone up. 

The cars driving on the right side was more along expected lines. The wiper being on the right and the indicator on the left was also pretty much expected but a lot harder to, jargon alert, 'internalise'. The switches were quite weird but since the feedback is almost always immediate its therefore not something one tends to really notice. Hopefully new things are being learnt and stored in unused recesses of the brain and not in those parts where 29 years of experience are etched. I wouldn't want to find out later that while I was busy learning that, paraphrasing a Dave Matthews Band song here, 'the right side is up' the rest of my world was turning upside down.


Be it Wal-Mart, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Ikea (I promise such shameless brand name dropping won't happen again) or any other store, one thing is almost guaranteed - The billing clerk/guy/lady will greet you and will always be friendly. There will be a hi and how-was-your-day and hope-you-have-a-great-one and your-bill-amount-is-exactly-same-as-the-time-so-you-get-a-lollipop. Ok fine, the last one happened only once.

In India the person at the billing counter is matter of fact and brutally efficient. "257.50. Cover?" But then as time progresses and you start coming to the shop regularly there would be a smile of recognition. And then there is a few extra words. "That is 257.50. Do you need cover? 1 Rs. extra." In time he/she will come to recognise your regular buys and understand the family dynamics. "Sir, do you need Ginger Candy for your father?" and you will know his first name. "I think he has bought yesterday Mani". You start flaunting the relationship hoping that the people waiting behind you in the queue get jealous and wish they knew the counter guy better. The guy may not start off being friendly but in time you get a friend. 

In time maybe there shall be some new friends.


Big fat squirrels. Oliver Hardy squirrels when compared to the Stanley Laurel variety back in India and voila, someone discovered Instagram.