# On our way to Madurai, I see a man brushing his teeth bang in the middle of the road at 2pm.
# My SBI branch takes over an hour to give me an uncomplicated account balance statement. Remind me to go and hug that girl at National Bank of Oman next time. Much debit and credit has happened in the interim… thanks to some bungled up information. Give me an uncomplicated, tax-free country, anytime 🙂
# At Cochin International Airport immigration, the officer exchanges pleasantries with each member of the huge group in the line before us. He’s laughing and joking at 6am and meanwhile five flights have landed at the same time, and the queue is getting longer and longer. I appreciate his friendliness but he’d have saved it for another time. This is also called an ‘unavoidable’ exercise in patience as you haven’t officially entered the country as yet.
# At said airport, thanks to the long queue, we were saved the trouble of waiting for baggage. But, wait, there was another long wait… for a trolley to wheel the luggage out of the airport. It took five people (who I asked for a trolley) and one raised voice (mine) to finally get one.
# The auto driver to Madurai Meenakshi temple charged us Rs. 50 while the one who dropped us back charged us only Rs30. And then, we were told that the normal fare was only Rs. 20. Auto drivers, they merit a whole post altogether.
# I had forgotten that you’d have to tip everyone everywhere. Business was brisk for the attendants manning the coaches of the Rajdhani. For, those who paid in thousands would not grudge a 50-rupee note.
# It pays to be a maid in India. The one at the husband’s house who is tipped by every member of the family and is treated like a queen fails to turn up for the three days we had over 100 relatives for a function. Needless to say, some backbreaking sweeping and mopping happened between the few of us.
# In Goa, wine shops and liquor bars are like the chai kadas (tea shops) of Kerala… they are everywhere. Looks like drinking is everyone’s favourite pastime there. Unpleasant scenery for teetotalers like us.
# Everyone has a mobile phone in India… And offers are dime a dozen. The kid brother so incensed by the niece utilizing her free SMS and constantly troubling him with a ‘Please write something’ replied, ‘Vande Mataram’. The niece was not patriotic enough to continue the conversation 🙂
On that note, folks, let me tell you that these are not ramblings of a disgruntled NRI OD-ing on Bisleri and pani-puri made with Bisleri. These are just my observations and I love my India. No doubt about that!
Edited to add: A sweet lady from SBI just rang up saying that my card has arrived. Yipee! Time for some retail therapy!