India - Habit Forming

“Damn, I hate being a foregone conclusion.” – Catherine Banning, The Thomas Crown Affair

Great movie, great character name, great quote.

It appears that I have become a foregone conclusion at my hotel. While I dislike being this predictable and so apparently set in my ways, the upside is that if I’m ever off my schedule for too long (read: abducted or lost) I think people would probably come search for me. So there’s that.

This morning I appeared for breakfast at 7:12a. No less than four servers commented that I was “having an early morning.” Evidently I’ve been pretty consistent in my 7:30a arrival time up to today. The servers’ observation comes on the heels of the hostess commenting over the weekend that I had missed breakfast on Saturday morning. Well, indeed I had, because I was out for a run. The hotel valets knew this – they remarked that I must have gone a longer distance than usual. It was twice as long, to be precise.

After setting down my bag I started to ask for coffee and water with ice (a specific and very American request, I’ve learned) but before the words could even form, one of the servers said, “Yes, madam, water with ice and coffee.”

Seconds after the coffee order Ganesh asked me if I wanted one medium boiled egg this morning. Note that knowing I only take one egg is a particular detail because standard procedure is to serve the guest two eggs. Also, remember my breakfast post and how I ended up with two over easy eggs that I never really ordered? That was all Ganesh. He is my self-nominated Egg Emissary. I only ever eat one egg, though, and evidently this has now become public knowledge. But today was not an egg day. Today’s protein dose instead came from peanut butter. This is someone else’s territory.

After politely declining the egg I wandered over to the fruit display and loaded up my plate. I swung by the coffee bar to pick up some yogurt and Danny, one of my Frangipani pals, told me that he had a plate of sliced bananas ready for me. I didn’t want to be rude but I couldn’t understand why he had done this. Then it dawned on me. He knows I like peanut butter and bananas on my toast so he saved me the trouble of slicing my own fruit. I was flattered, thankful, embarrassed, and beginning to feel moderately helpless and slightly exposed. Can you imagine how much else the hotel staff knows about me by now?

Breakfast was over (ahead of schedule) and I made my way to the front desk to exchange some money. While I was waiting for a new batch of Rupees a gentleman approached me.

Guy with German accent: Excuse me, but may I ask you a question?

Me: Sure.

GwGa: I always see you here! I come to this hotel every other week and every time I come here I see you. Why are you always here?

(Wow – now even hotel guests know my daily routines.)

Me: Ah, yes. Well, I’m here for work.

GwGa: What do you do that you’re here so much?

Me: I’m an architect working out of our local office on a project in India. Several of us come over for weeks or months at a time to work.

GwGa: Oh, ok. I’m in the diamond business and I’m here every two weeks, which I thought was a lot, but you seem to be here all the time and I just wanted to know why.

(Well, that’s very forward of you, don’t you think? But since you mention you’re in the diamond business, perhaps we should have a drink?.... Kidding!)

1 comment:

Kate said...

I love that movie, love that quote, and absolutely love your posts from India!


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