When I started here over a month ago, our office canteen (cafeteria / kitchen) was being serviced by three different vendors: Group A makes the most variety: sandwiches, maggi noodles, some rotating Indian snack, other packaged snacks, chai, chass, lassi, etc. Group B takes care of the veg + non-veg thali options. Group C is all Frankies all day (why isn’t there a Tibbs Frankies food truck in the states? That would kill it).
The building we work in, Indiabulls Finance Center also owns a separate canteen on the ground floor of the towers named Hungrybulls (Clever name huh? Ok, well it makes me chuckle). While Hungrybulls offers more variety by way of international cuisine, we’re usually too lazy to go downstairs to that one. Also it gets crowded and people don’t wait in lines – one time I was standing in a checkout line at Hungrybulls, waiting patiently to order, when two different people stuck their money out in front of me and paid for their food first. A third person attempted to do this, at which point I snapped and said, “DO YOU NOT SEE ME STANDING HERE?” – Oh, Mumbai. Everyone has been hypnotized into believing that they’re in some permanent, all-important, rush.
This is now fine because in the last two weeks, new competition has been introduced on the 29th floor which is making lunch time evermore exciting. We have a Group D now doing Parsi and Guj meals and snacks and a Group E making sandwiches, rolls, burgers and momos. Group A in response to all the new options has opened a dosa and uttapam section as well.
As you can imagine, there are a few new people working in the canteen that I haven’t yet met. SO my story (sorry for the superfluous intro). Today, I was ordering from Group E using my elementary level Hindi, and the new guy responds to me, “Madam, your accent is sounding funny. You’ve been talking to too many foreign clients.”
BOOM! It was the first time that someone hasn’t, VERY quickly, figured out that I’m American. This is mostly exciting because it makes me feel like maybe, MAYBE, my Hindi is getting better.