case in point:
yesterday i went to the chaat shop to buy some spicy cashews and spicy almonds. basically, they cover the nuts with really hot indian spices and roast them. they are one of my favorite things to eat. there are several chaat shops in my town. i only ever go to this one, though. it's because i like the lady who runs it. she's very not into superficial pleasantries, not to mention the fact that there is a substantial language barrier between her and i. don't get me wrong, her english is far better than my hindi will ever be, it's just we can't really have an extensive conversation. she has, however, warmed to me over the past couple of years.
anyway. usually there aren't that many people in the shop and the people that are there are just getting snacks, so you don' really have to wait. yesterday, however, there were people full on grocery shopping. first, i was waiting be hind this family that had their teenage son hold their place in line, while they were steadily adding an item after item at intervals of time. just as the woman would get close to finishing ringing the items up, they would add three more. so that was just straight annoying.
during this time a line was forming behind me to the left of the register. except for one woman, who felt that she would stand to the right of the register. while it was hard to tell whether she or i was next in line, it was easy to tell that she felt that she was there first. whatever. she only had two things, so...i really didn't care if she went first. however, things started to get annoying as we got closer to the counter and she began a conversation in hindi with the woman behind me. and then this woman uses this as an excuse to start edging me out of the line. and she had a ton of things. and they kept looking at me. and edging me out of line.
so, finally, after a few (as in 10 or so) last minute additions, the never ending basket is emptied and paid for. the women are still talking excitedly to each other in hindi in front of me. the woman behind the counter looks past them, at me, and is like "ma'am, you know what you want?" which of course i do. i paused for a second to give the other women a chance to say they were first, but they kept talking and i stepped between them to the counter. i could tell that they weren't that happy about that, but there wasn't anything they could do.
the woman behind the counter got my spicy cashews and spicy almonds for me. in separate bags. just as i like them.
"you like spicy," she remarked. i do. so very much. "ah, very good, very good," she replied. we wished each other happy weekend and i left.
i love her.