Tuesday, February 1, 2011

“Fighting with the milkman” aka “Not a foreigner anymore”

Milk shows up here in little plastic bags – sealed ziplocks – and you can buy them at a store or have them delivered at your doorstep. I went the delivery route. For that you can buy a coupon book in the beginning of the month and use them as needed. I bought a bunch of coupon books every month. The process was me asking how much a booklet cost, the milk delivery dude telling me the amount and me just paying for it without any questions – a really foreign move in India. This went on for six months.

So, yesterday the process started again. I was annoyed about fat free milk not showing up so I started talking to him and asked to buy a coupon book for that. He mentioned that it would be Rs 28/ltr. A few minutes later while calculating the price for the booklets he mentioned Rs 30/ltr. I picked that up and questioned him. He quickly agreed to Rs 28. Too quickly actually.

I paid up but then took a look at the price of the ziplock packets (in India everything has a price written on it). It was Rs 18/ltr. I know that here you pay 10% – 20% for delivery and even that is on the higher end but 60% was something you only did to foreigners.

So I called him up and he said he’d come. He didn’t. So I called again and he stopped picking up my call. And I got mad. Then I did the next Indian thing. I SMSed him. Wrote I was pissed and would report him ( no idea to whom but you threaten that here) and he showed up. We ‘talked’ and I got Rs 500 back from him.

I felt different. It was not the $10 I saved, or the fact that every gallon of milk was 50c cheaper now. He was still ripping me off but only as much as he would do to a lenient Indian. Not as much as he would to a clueless foreigner.

Now I am ready to learn some Kannada swear words and drive a car here.

1 comment:

  1. i lived in karnataka for 4 years and never got a single word ..so dont push your hopes up