Two New Yorkers spend six months 18 months!?! in Bangalore and other places in India.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Dosa That Never Came

Yesterday I managed to spend 12 rupees for no lunch at all. Was I the victim of fraud or some other scheme? More like confusion and misunderstanding. The site of the non-crime was the vegetarian restaurant at the end of the block. Surprisingly to me, the restaurant is divided into two sections, self-service and a section with waiters, menus, long waits, etc. I sat down at the waiter side, but I quickly got too impatient and thought I'd try my luck at self-serve. By looking at what everyone else was doing, it seemed easy enough -- go to the counter, tell the guy what you want, and then get a ticket. Hand ticket to guys behind counter, and get lunch. I wasn't sure exactly when you paid, so I just said "masala dosa" and got a ticket.

And then I made my big mistake. I handed the ticket to the guy in the first booth. He took it, and then he said "coffee or tea." I duly ordered "chai," since it sounded good at the time, and I had to say something.

I went to a table, sipping the chai I hadn't yet paid for, and waited for the dosa that was never going to arrive. The small boy busing the tables, who couldn't have been older than 10, asked me what I'd got, and I managed to get out masala dosa. But it never arrived. I think what happened is that the first guy looked at my ticket, and he assumed it was just one for coffee or tea (they cost the same).

With the boy's help, I tried to get another ticket from the counter guy. This time I paid him. He took my 12 rupees, but I don't think he understood that I'd never gotten my first dosa, just chai tea. After paying 5 rupees more for the chai, and standing around, and trying with the boy's help to explain the problems, I left in defeat. The boy, who clearly has great skills (and faith) in getting things done, even followed me out of the restaurant, pointing out that I should get my money back. I wasn't as enthusiastic as he was about saying masala dosa 20 more times, so instead I retreated to the apartment. Leftovers with a chaser of Nutella and "Dark Fantasy" cookies (they're Oreo knockoffs) go very well with defeat.But don't worry about me -- I'm going back to the place today to finally get a dosa.

Here's a picture of the kind of masala dosa I would have eaten for lunch if I'd been able to get one: [Via Urban Mixer/Flickr]


Naveen Roy said...

hahaa......well, i don't think that you have been the victim of a scam....its just that he naturally assumed that you had got what you had paid for..chai......but u really should have got the money back.....

bengaluru said...

happens, but i think you should have got the money back! Rs.12 may be like 25-20 cents but....btw why did you decide not to get the money?
if i were you and decided mot to get the money, it probably would have been something like... let me get over this!