Monday, July 13, 2009

I was mistaken for an Amway..

and ouch, that hurts! So I was in the local Indian grocery store doing my weekly run. I noticed something that looked like fresh Aware kaaLu (it is a very sought-after bean in Karnataka and is not available fresh in the grocery stores here as far as I know). I wanted to buy some and impress the hell out of the mil who wouldn't hesitate to give an arm and a leg for a bunch of said beans. But I wanted to confirm that they were in fact the said precious variety. So I asked this guy, who was carting a bagful of them, what they were called. The vagueness of his answer (he said -- "it's just some beans") and the speed with which he disappeared out of my sight made me suspect that he considered me an Amway candidate* and so ran for his life. I'm impressed by the impact these Amway agents have made on the average desi shopper.

* -- For those of you who have had the good fortune of not knowing what Amway is, they are a "multi-level marketting" company in the US who hire agents to market their products, who lurk in popular stores and introduce themselves by making small talk with other bakra desi (mostly) shoppers in an attempt to hire them to become agents for Amway. Their aim is to start with small talk (weather, "native place", "mother tongue", shopping preferences and such) and the end goal is to steal your phone number so they can latch on to you and suck you dry. So anytime you get a somewhat stupid question from a fellow desi, please run like the above person did. To my credit, my question was by no means a stupid question. I should know because for sometime in grad school, I couldn't differentiate between toor dal and channa dal, then how can I trust myself to recognise the rarer kinds!?!?

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