The smile that “kills” – Essay – Eurasia Review


he problems in which the Indian people normally live are something completely unacceptable to us from Europe and the United States and, above all, outrageous and meaningless. Interspersed with arrogance, ignorance and superstition, but also with hope. However, as I wrote long ago, people are social animals that adapt most easily to life situations. Well, me too. Examples? With pleasure:

Small restaurant near the university

Since my arrival in India, I really found a nice little restaurant (about 20 m2 on two floors – in total) plus a decent terrace, which serves 2 dcl of pineapple for 0.66 US dollars (pressed juice) and a pizza for lunch for $1.07 US Dollars which is really acceptable, but… After about ten arrivals and really helpful staff (of course I didn’t go there every day – I didn’t have not the intention that the pizza “starts to come out of my ears”) who had already started to recognize me, there was “material fatigue”. Namely, about 15 days ago I came to order my meal, and I waited, waited… Other guests came and went. 15 minutes passed, half an hour, and there were people who came after me. I have pineapple juice, but no pizza. I got up and explained, what we were going to tell me, using “hands and feet” because their English in the service industries is very poor (if not “five star” restaurants ) that I’m leaving because they served guests who came after me, and to me “johnson”, as I said, angry. And until a few days ago, when I saw a young boss standing in front of a restaurant, and he was in my way, so I couldn’t avoid him. He smiled and took a step towards me, and I told him, freezing cold, “Do you know why I don’t come to your restaurant anymore?” He smiled slightly again and said. “I know. Excuse me and accept my apologies, please.” I answered,” Good to know. “And I succeeded. And now, look, I should keep coming to his restaurant, because I ordered that last restaurant meal from him. The (in)responsibility of Indians is an exceptional fault, unless they are true professionals in the work they do, and the (in)responsibility that comes with (dis)respect is really (in) tolerable.

Remark: There are so many little restaurants near my place of work that one more or less doesn’t matter. And what about food? If it’s not too spicy it’s excellent. I recommend the “Pacode Onion” which is, in fact, like our donuts, but reduced, while inside are pieces of onion. Large meal. Price, really small – $0.66 US Dollars.

A bank that operates like a mail carrier in the Wild West

…and behind schedule straight into the promised face, for days. Since everything comes out of my DYPIU university campus in Pune, and at least that’s what I’ve seen and felt so far, like in another galaxy, and the banks are no better. My bank, where I am required to have an open account (I don’t want to give the name of the bank, for my own financial security, of course) works very politely when it comes to communicating with customers, from their arrival at their place. Everything is professional and done, from account security, payments, withdrawals, internet banking, which makes work much easier for anyone who has an account with them. However, mobile banking i.e. paying bills or transferring money from phone to phone (yes, my dear readers, there are more such opportunities here than in Silicon Valley , in California, the headquarters of Google – a colleague who is currently in the United States, told me that people use Google pay more in India than in the United States, and it is located a few kilometers from the headquarters of Google, right now) here, in India, very “cough”. At least for me.

From day one I tried to open this possibility as well, and lo and behold, I tried here for almost three months. I am still waiting. And when I was hoping, after the applications submitted, the requests, the forms filled in, the direct contact with the employees of the bank, a cold shower! On the spot, 4 days ago, I asked a very nice bank employee to show me how to use Google pay, because it continuously shows me that my mobile number is not registered at her bank, she take matters into their own hands. Before I explain, let me point out that I couldn’t open an account without a mobile phone, because when I pay bills from a laptop through internet banking, I get a temporary password OTP (which increases payment security again) to my registered bank number. Local. Indian. Eo ipso, taking the cell phone, she tried not once, but ten times the same thing as me. And nothing. She coldly told me to keep trying for 2-3 days on Google Pay and my request will be accepted by Google pays. O tempora, o manners! It’s like I got no job but typing on my cell every day and “begging” Google pays to find my account in my bank, via my mobile number. And as a solution, she said:Please complete this, another form, and within 24 hours you can when you reinstall and reinstall another app on your mobile device – Phone pay, pay online until your Google pay starts working.“ Eo ipso, I did everything as he said. It’s been 96 hours (4 days) not just 24 hours (1 day) and neither Google pays or Payment by phone is available. Certainly not. And I think of something, to go back the next day on Monday, bring a chocolate bar for her (a sign of attention, not a bribe) and wait until it’s all over. And be patient. Anyway. Like Bosnian. And Herzegovina. Until the bank employee finally authorized the combination of my telephone number with the above requests, so that I could pay the rent for the refrigerator and the washing machine in my apartment, in the amount US$10.70, per month.

Remark: At least I hope they won’t take them back from me because I have a few days late payment (and they only ask Payment by phone Where Google pays) precisely because of the impossibility of paying by mobile phone. “Others fuck, and you, Muzafer, bathe:”, as the great Pavle Vujisić said in the film “Father on a business trip” (Winner of the Palme D’or at Cannes in 1985, by Emir Kusturica, at the time. They “fuck” digitally , and I “bathe” by analogy. Here.

Tipping is gold

Please be careful when you are in India paying someone cash to give money such that the thumb is on one side of the banknotes and the four fingers on the other side of the banknote. Why? I say for example: In my neighborhood, near the apartment, there are a number of small shops which are, in fact, like newsstands, a little “deeper” but open in front. And I have mine, where I’m already used to the hosts when they see me beaming know they have at least 100 IR ($1.33 US Dollars) from me that day. And so, yesterday I went to get some bread (here you can only find it as a toasted packet and not as “normal” as we are used to – if you want it you should walk around the specialty stores, like for beer and/or wine, – who mentioned Saudi Arabia?) and a few nibbles of salad.

I took out $1.33 US Dollars and gave it to the owner’s daughter (a girl in her twenties). I saw disgust on his face. Besides, she’s the only one who knows English (very well) and I’m happy every time I see her (she’s there every other day) because I don’t have to explain to her father ” using my hands and feet” whatever I want, although we are both used to it and recognize non-verbal communication, very well today. What disgust? Because I gave him a note by holding it between thumb and forefinger only. She gave it back to me, and I thought maybe I had given the wrong note, but I know I heard her say, “95 IR. (US$1.25) “And when she gave it back to me, she said, “Please give me the money appropriately. Not like this. If you do it that way, it’s an insult in India. “Confused, I asked how to do it. Explaining it to me, I did, and she smiled contentedly. I left angry. On myself. I wonder how many people I’ve offended so far, and they haven’t had the courage, like this little girl, to tell me…

Remark: Lifelong learning process. Even in India.

Mobile phone store as a light at the end of the tunnel

I don’t know if anywhere in Europe or in the world I have seen such a professional and dedicated service at work than in a store for mobile phones and other accessories, about 300 meters from my university. Somewhere when I arrived I had a problem with my Bosnian mobile phone (only when you leave BiH you can boast that you have two mobile phones – a “foreign” and a “domestic”, because in BiH alone singles and politicians can have two cellphones, the rest no! – at least I didn’t dare) and looking for a store like this I came across one of the stores where the guy behind the counter immediately mistook me for a stranger and charged me IR 2000 ($26.75 US Dollars) for the screen repair. I turned around and kept looking further, finding a new offer near the university, starting at IR 800 (about $10.70 US Dollars), which I accepted. That afternoon the cell phone was like new and I kept coming to them. I’ve been because of my two cell phones twice before and some minor app issues and he wouldn’t charge me that guy behind the counter. Always a smile and the word “Wait please.” In 5 minutes the problem is solved and I decide to buy something every time. They have a small cupboard, a glass with chocolates and I buy a chocolate bar. Satisfied, I eat it, and thank them through the money spent. I wonder if all of the above might sound like that polite guy from the mobile device store, or if he himself is the light at the end of the tunnel, and the tunnel never ends.

Remark: We will see. Professor Sabi will see more. It’s a long time to go home.


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