Putting up with a ‘no-frills’ waiter at the Indian Coffee House

Catching an early breakfast after a nice long stroll at India Gate just wasn’t in our luck. So we took to impatiently waiting outside the Mohan Singh Palace building in CP while the Indian Coffee House folks took to scrubbing the floors & tables and readying the simple establishment for morning joggers like us to feast on pots of tea and multistoried toasts.

Comfortably settled under a huge tree, we took to staring at poor pavement encroachers sleeping, chatting, smoking bidis or selling local spirits. It was quite the spectacle but a sad one too.

Sharp 9:00 am we perched ourselves at the table right near the kitchen counter (nearer the table, quicker the service right?!).

In walks the head waiter, dressed in the red and white uniform and a fan-shaped hat typical of Indian Coffee House waiters everywhere.

Us: Can we have the special tea and the cold cream coffee? Also French toast, two cheese omelets and buttered bread please.  

Him: So that’s tea, cold coffee, French toast, omlete and bread.

Us: No, we said cold ‘cream’ coffee and ‘buttered’ bread.

Him: (Looking at us as if we were dimwits) Yes, cold coffee and bread. Now, how many slices? We dare not push it any further. fork

After our thoroughly simple but delicious breakfast we pay the bill. It’s Rs.371/-.(Husband has Rs.370, voila! I have fished out a Rs.1 coin. Done!)

Then we start wondering if tips are included in the bill but since we can’t figure it out, we shyly ask the waiter if there’s anything else that’s needed.

Him (clearly annoyed at our ignorance): You’ve paid, now go! (Clearly, service tax was not included.)

We drop a few extra notes and scoot.

The girl with the white flag

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On 25th June 1945, a young, barefooted Japanese girl in tattered clothes walks towards the beach waving a piece of white cloth tied to a crooked stick. World War II is about to end and the Japanese at the war-torn island of Okinawa are surrendering to American troops after a battle which had lasted for 83 days without respite.

Year’s later, Tomiko Higa, now 39, chances upon the black & white photo of herself holding the white flag in an illustrated English book about World War II. After years of silence, she decides it’s finally time to speak out about her traumatic experience as a young 5-year-old, who torn from family is forced to fend for herself in a war-ravaged country, filled with weary refugees and militant soldiers.

Of the photo, she recollects a man with red cheeks pointing something at her and fears it’s a gun. Behind the lens is John Hendrickson, a young American army signal corps, commissioned to capture photos of the surrender to be later used for war-time documentation.

The girl with the white flag is a captivating and moving autobiography which paints a poignant image of civilian fear, helplessness, loss, anxiety and death in the face of war. This simple, raw, and brutally honest eyewitness account will pull all the strings of your heart as it did mine. It’s definitely worth a read.

I had to become unemotional

declutter

Before I had my house painted recently, I did a lot of cleaning and clearing out so that it was easier to move the furniture around and it gave me a chance to figure out what I was consciously and unconsciously hoarding in my house.

For one, I had a lot of things I didn’t use or want: A lone belt buckle, old receipts, product manuals, clothes that never saw the light of day, gifts I held onto for sentimental value and other such things that I always imagined would come to later use but never did.

Why was I holding onto a belt buckle? That’s right, coz this particular belt went well with all of my clothes. And it didn’t matter that I had bought two ‘temporary replacement belts’ that went just as well with my new spring wardrobe.

The two rules I followed while discarding most of the stuff was to not get emotionally attached and to not come up with excuses that they were too important to let go.

While it’s ok to cling onto a few things, for the most part of it you have got to learn to be unemotional. Start in one area and keep at it, doing a bit at a time.

Ask yourself three things while decluttering: Is it useful; is it beautiful; and is it of high sentimental value.   

New occupants

Indoor-Succulents

As part of my new interior home décor I’ve decided to add indoor plants.  Plants to me depict youthfulness and serenity. I love looking at them and yeah, occasionally talking to them too now that I have some inside the house (Just a pep talk to stay alive under my care).

Indoor plants I’ve learnt are awesome. Not only do they look pretty and need minimum maintenance (watering them once a week) but they also do a load of other things.

Air purifiers: Indoor plants improve the quality of indoor air by removing low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. These include: Peace lily, golden pothos, English ivy, chrysanthemum, gerbera daisy, mother-in-law’s tongue, bamboo palm, red-edge dracaena and spider plant.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily

24-hour oxygen suppliers: While it’s true that photosynthesis stops at night, a few special plants – like orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads – flip that script and take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen; great for bedrooms.

spider plant

Spider Plant

Healers: Plants can lower blood pressure, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue.

golden pothos

Golden Pothos

Deter illnesses: Using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs. While transpiration takes place indoors, it increases the humidity levels. Research reveals that higher absolute humidity is conducive for decreased survival and transmission of the flu virus.

Snake plant

Mother-in-law’s Tongue

Boost productivity: Being around plants improves concentration, memory and productivity.

 

 

Food at your finger tips

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Which one of us ladies hasn’t got the urge to eat our fruity-flavored lipstick sometimes? I think we’re all guilty of that. When I first experienced perfumed nail polish on my fingers, I thought I’d turn into a sniffing addict. It was a wonderful bubble gum fragrance and it made me very, very hungry; almost to the verge of licking my fingernails. Gross I know but someone’s been listening and is soon to make it a reality. Yeah!

KFC, the fast food giant is taking its tagline ‘finger lickin’ good’ to a new level by tinkering with the idea of ‘edible nail polish’. Imagine that! KFC has two edible nail polish varieties hitting the market in Hong Kong: Original and Hot & Spicy but is yet to decide which flavor to mass produce.

I love the idea but I’d most probably wear it at home, say while watching TV and I’m feeling too lazy to get up and make a snack for myself.

Rise & Shine

morning

Rise & shine. Besides the sun and a few disciplined people out there (hats off to you guys), these two things are just so hard to do. It’s easy to blame it on the weather or sleep deprivation, like I do all the time, but these are things we can easily work around ‘if’ we wanted to.

I’ve been trying to get into a morning routine recently after being inspired by a few YouTubers on their daily morning routines which consist of actually getting out of bed on time, whipping up a healthy breakfast, working out, having a morning facial routine (serious makeup routine included), picking out a Pinterest-inspired outfit and finally heading off to work; everything is accomplished with a happy smile and in clock-wise precision.

I thought if they can do it and be happy bunnies, I wanna be one too.

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Day 1. Out of bed after 5 minutes of the alarm ringing (Major accomplishment!). Next a glass of water to ‘hydrate’ myself (I also read somewhere that drinking a glass of cool water first thing in the morning wakes you up instantly…well it does help). Then I plopped down on my bedside mat and listened to 5 minutes of Japanese meditation music (To slowly get me out of semi-sleep mode) after which I devoted the next 5 minutes to prayer, thanking God for all He has given me. Then I was up and about getting ready for the day. Made a healthy breakfast and I was out of the door. Hurray!

Day 2. Repetition of day 1 except I’m up 10 minutes after my alarm rings.

Day 3. Darn, I didn’t hear the alarm go off.

Day 4. This is not working out.

Day 5. Zzzzzzzzzz…9:30! I’m gonna be so, so late for work; splash of water, keys, out of the door.

Yep, I’ve done a really bad job of it but I’m not giving up hope you guys.

Morning (1)

Mornings are wonderful. Full of hope: a chance to make things right, an opportunity to do good, make someone happy, accomplish a pending task. And to do all of this we need to start our day on a positive note. So I’d say do things that make you happy when you wake up.

Do you have a favourite song? Play it. Love poetry? Read one while drinking your coffee. Go on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram…check Pinterest…looking at pretty things never hurt anyone.

Now once you’re relaxed and completely awake, getting ready will be a piece of cake! Now go set that alarm a bit early than usual.

Stop being apologetic and celebrate who you are

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How many times have you changed yourself to fit into what is “acceptable”?

Looking back in history, it wasn’t the ‘follow the crowd’ types who gained recognition but those who dared to be different that stood out and later became icons in their respective fields.

So stop caring about what people think and just be who you are. You are intelligent, you are smart and you can very well decide how you want to be, what you want to do and how to get things done without having to worry about what another person might think is the “right way’ to live YOUR life.

Just be you and enjoy life; Quite simple really.