The other day I was so busy with work that I had to skip lunch. Famished, at about 6:30 PM went to this Indian restaurant on Hamdan street in Abu Dhabi. After waiting for what seemed to be the longest 15 minutes of my life, the waiter came down and I ordered a Paneer butter masala and some Naan bread. The guy exhibited a I-dont-give-a-damn look on his face and said that 'ispecial' (special) items will be available only after 7:00PM. I looked at my watch and it was already 6:45.
Respecting the contentions of the waiter, I ordered a simple dish - masala dosa. He nodded in acceptance and sailed elegantly to the next table, where a European couple was seated.
"Good evening madam", went the waiter, in the most polite and sweet tone. "What would you like to have?"
The white lady glanced through the menu and said in an anglicized accent:
"Paneer Butter Masala"
The waiter said with utmost reverence and respect "OK. Ma'am. Anything else?"
I almost looked up!! My watch showed 6:48. I stared at this waiter on his way back to the kitchen, and he tried his best to avoid my gaze.
While I was eating my masala dosa, the white lady was having the dish that she wanted - and I pondered over what had just happened.
Not that I'm a racist, but I am an Indian man at an Indian restaurant, paying just the same money as the white lady in the same Indian restaurant!! But from the waiter (also an Indian), I get the hasty 'what do you want?' look and she gets the polite 'what would you like, your highness?' look. I get to eat what they serve and she gets to eat what she likes.
If I pay the same amount of money for the dish as her, then what could be the difference between my order and hers? Something to think about.