Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, those cards!

I went looking for some greeting cards.

I knew just where to look because I had bought some here last year. So I went to the same shop, which has a small display counter at street level, the main store upstairs. In their street-front glass counter were some interesting looking New Year greeting cards. The old man at the counter said they weren't yet available and would be delivered next week, but they had some other cards upstairs. I went and looked but they were of the tacky Santa Claus and Champagne-bottle variety, so I left empty-handed.

On the off chance that the old guy was mistaken, or more likely just trying to get rid of me, I went back there the next day. The guy at the steet-level display counter takes me upstairs to the main shop and points to the rack I looked at yesterday, a rack I knew didn't have the cards that were displayed downstairs. I explained this and he yelled at the manager, who was sitting behind his desk watching his employees work. I then had to explain to the manager.

Which cards?

The ones I saw downstairs.

Over there, he says, pointing to the rack I've already looked at.

No, theses are not the cards I want.

What do you want?

The cards on display downstairs.


In your glass display case. Downstairs.

He then says something to one of his employees in Hindi and they ignore me. After a couple of minutes and I haven't disappeared, we start again.

So, do you have any new year greeting cards?

Which ones?

The ones I saw on display downstairs.


How many times are you going to ask me the same question, I asked, raising my voice a bit.

He motions to one of his employees to take me downstairs and - guess what? The cards I wanted were right there behind the counter, just behind the display case! All that hassle for something that was right there all along.

What a country. What a people.

Incredible India.



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