Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Today Ammu pointed out that I didn't know for sure that the day manager was scamming me, and that it might be a good idea to try to corroborate his story at the post office before blogging him a bad name. He even offered to accompany me to the PO, which is next to Shantala Talkies (a movie theater).

We waited 45 minutes before the post master appeared.

He produced the paperwork.

He explained what happened; in Mumbai the customs officials sometimes look inside large boxes and charge a tarriff. The correct amount was Rs 192, not Rs 350 as the day manager told me.

It turns out that he did indeed tip the mail carrier Rs 20, as he said.

So when I saw the manager after lunch I handed him Rs e12. I made a profuse apology, and asked him to refuse any more packages that came for me.

The mind felt a lot better after that.

* * *

Earlier Ammu and I were coming home from the jewelry section of town, where the nose-punch doctor re-installed my screw-type earrings (which have a wide post that can hurt and even cause infection if you're not used to it. Last year's new earrings weren't installed properly, and ever since the right one has been prone to infections whenever wear earrings). After months of no earrings, I'm all blinged out with the shiny local gold.

Afterwards, as we were driving on his motorcycle, we passed some Hijaras (eunuchs or men dressed as women who are generally reviled, and spend their days hitting up shopkeepers for money.).

One of them looked at me, and said something that sounded like "English Granny."

Ammu smiled.

"He called you English Rani," he said.

"English Granny?" I asked. "Do I look that old today?"

"No, no - Rani," he said. "It is compliment.

"It means queen."

For a day, anyway.....