Saturday, February 24, 2007

Food and Attention

I am neither finicky about food nor enthusiastic about cooking. I think if the world invented tablets to keep one healthy and hunger away, I wouldn’t mind spending money on such tablets. But till that time, I need to find ways and means to solve the problem.

Breakfast is managed easily enough as long as I don’t sleep late which happens once in a while. Toast, apples, juice, coffee, butter, jam- that I can handle. Dinner is taken care of thanks to ready-to-eat dishes. MTR, Kitchens of India, are life savers along with frozen chapathis. Mention also must be made of electric rice cookers

Which leaves lunch. My Indian colleagues cook and bring their own lunch. I visited a Subway. And since I am not so finicky about what I eat, I used to order the same menu item on a daily basis. It got to a point that if there was an award for a customer speaking the least words while ordering food inside a Subway, I would have won it hands down and mouth shut.

A recent conversation-

Subway Guy- Hey, alright? 6 inch veggie patty, right?
Me: Nod
Veggie patty goes into the oven.

Subway Guy- Italian Bread? Cheese and Toasted, yeah?
Me: Nod
Italian Bread with Cheese goes into oven. Move in front of Subway Girl1 who takes out my patty and bread from the oven.

Subway Girl1- Lettuce, onions, cucumber and jalapenos for the salad, right?
Me: Nod
Subway Girl1- And ketchup for the sauce?
Me: Nod

My sandwich gets packed and I move parallel to it till I reach the cash counter in front of Subway Girl2 who has a packet of ready salted crisps ready for me along with the sandwich.

Subway Girl2: 3.44 please, and you are eating here, right? (She doesn’t have to give me a bag meant for a takeaway)
Me: Yes, Thanks.

Now you may think this is all great but it’s actually very uncomfortable for me. Coz, though I am not finicky about food, I am finicky about attention. And I hate it when people know more about me then I do about them. I was seriously considering ordering a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki the next time but I did what I usually do in such situations. I quit.

I started frequenting a small Indian place offering a very average fare at completely-not-worth-it rates. And though I tried my best to disguise my voice each day and even shaved alternate days to remain incognito, I was found out. Before long, the proprietor wanted to discuss the weather with me and also tell me the recipes of the dishes which went into the Veg Meal that I ordered every day. Didn’t he realize that I obviously couldn’t care less?
And this did it-

Indian Restaurant Guy- Don’t you have Indian friends at your office?
Me: Yes (What does he want now? Can’t you just take the money?)
IRG- Why don’t you get them along with you sometime?
Me: They bring their own food.
IRG- Aaah!! They have their own taste. (Suddenly getting excited) But this is home food, isn’t it?! You come here every day!!
Me: Yeah, but I can’t cook.

That shut him up. Anyways, I quit again. Now I frequent an Italian place. But this time I am ahead of the game. I alternate my orders between a Veg Pizza and a Veg Pasta Bake (with cheese, peppers and white wine) and it seems to be working. Though yesterday, the proprietor did smile and look at me strangely.

But I am not worried. I am planning to get a haircut over the weekend.


Kusum Rohra said...

And though I tried my best to disguise my voice each day and even shaved alternate days to remain incognito.

Why don't you try something which is fool-proof like wearing a bird feather on ur sleeve. It's easy wear a different feather everyday :D

I quit.

what? Just because they could tell what you would want you stopped going there??

You do realise you are a bit, well, fuzzy in the head? :P

dazedandconfused said...

Good idea! :) Never thought of that. But where the hell will I get a different feather every day?

Kusum Rohra said...

Send me your address I will courier 5-7 different feathers :)