|Me boating on the River Severn, UK|
Look at that relaxed face
I am back from a 5 week holiday in the UK and was feeling happy, refreshed and ready to take on the daily pressures of India once again...Well, that was until I asked Sunita our maid who speaks fluent English, to go out and get us some toothpaste, you know standard, everyday toothpaste that you use to clean your teeth and prevent cavities? Nothing complicated about that, or so I thought.....
‘What type of Toothpaste would you like Maam?’ Sunita asked
‘Just standard, everyday toothpaste please, Colgate original mint in the red box is fine.’ I replied
10 minutes later she was back, ‘Here you go Maam’ she said and handed me a red box.
‘Errrrrrrm, Sunita, sorry, this is herb flavor, I asked for mint?
‘ Sorry Maam I could not find, this is ok.’ She replied.
‘Well, (nervous laugh) actually Sunita this is not ok, I just want original mint, we don’t like this flavor can you go and change it please.’ I replied.
‘Ok maam’ she replied and left for the slum.
15 minutes later she was back ‘Here you go Maam’ and handed me another red box.
I looked at it, ‘Sunita, this is spicy flavor Colgate??’ I replied, shocked that she had got it wrong again.
‘Yes maam, very good for teeth’ she replied confidently.
‘But I just told you I only wanted mint flavour, standard, original, mint flavor? Can you swap this, any brand is ok as long as it is mint.’
‘Ok Maam!’ she replied and left the apartment in a huff.
20 minutes later Sunita returned ‘Maam I have this' and handed me yet another red box.
‘Sunita!!!! Are you serious???? This is Lemon flavor not mint??????’ I yelled, reaching the end of my tether.
‘Maam’ Sunita replied ‘India is very different to UK, we do not have mint toothpaste’
Taken a back at the bare faced lie I replied sternly, ‘You and I both know that is a big, fat lie Sunita, I have lived here for 12 months and have had many a packet of original mint Colgate!’
‘Maam! I do not lie’ Sunita snapped back, clearly very upset that I accused her of lying and walked away.
Flabbergasted at what at just happened and how upset I was over a tube of toothpaste I sat down and poured myself a large glass of whisky (and by whisky I mean water) to calm my nerves.
Sunita went out, 10 minutes later she returned and put something on the dining room table and left for the day. As soon as the door closed I got up and went closer… it was yet another toothpaste box, I picked it up, it was…MINT Toothpaste and not just any mint toothpaste Colgate Whitening, I was elated and I felt a sense of victory. 'They don’t sell mint toothpaste in India!' Pah!
No words have been exchanged between myself and Sunita since and there won't be... until I ask her to go out and get me a light bulb tomorrow... should be interesting!