Saturday, October 18, 2008

The more

"No change!"
This pithy exchange, cheery though it may seem, can get to be a bit much, day after day. Where, I ask, is the small change in this country? Is the government, heedless in its recognition of the power of five and ten rupee notes, off not paying attention? Or is there a huge change cartel out there operating unbeknownst to us citizenry, hoarding the precious stuff like drugs and gold?
Auto guys are, of course, notorious for their ferocious espousal of the No Change philosophy. A clever trick to gyp the poor-sod passenger into parting with more fare it may be, but sometimes it seems they simply say No Change from force of habit. I, having a trick or three up my sleeves, have now taken to stuffing those tricky little pockets on the tops of my jeans with all manner of change. No change? No way. I am well equipped and will give you change until you beg for mercy.
About the only place I can head to with certainty when a crisis of small notes occurs, is one particular neighborhood supermarket. The place is miraculous. They may not have everything by way of supermarket essentials, but squeak to them about change and they will serenely hand you the blessed change. Or, hand them a 1000 and they will, batting nary an eyelid, simply count out the the remaining, fork it over, and go on with life.
There is another side to this whole saga. The passing off of bashed notes- that is to say, unusable notes. Poor J, being not of Indian descent, regularly gets it in the neck with this one. Cleverly folded and re-folded bum notes are palmed off in his unsuspecting paws. He now has a bitter little collection of these tattered keepsakes.
He has also now grown weary of the change-no change conversation. It closely resembles his exchanges with the fellow at the corner veggie stall near his former house. "Parsley?" J would hopefully ask.
"No Parsley!" the fellow would answer. They kept this up for a year, each relentless in his hope and stone-faced refusal, respectively. It was all the fellow's fault- he started out by stocking parsley, then it all vanished. Just like all the change.

1 comment:

Vinesh said...

the jeremy stories are too funny... even funnier perhaps because i can imagine him saying "Parsley?" haha!

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