Crowded or Popular? Exclusive or deserted?

An expensive place full of tourists is considered a popular destination. While an inexpensive place full of tourists will be called a crowded one.

An expensive place lacking tourists is termed an exclusive destination. While an inexpensive place lacking tourists is considered deserted.

It is never about other tourists, it is always about how much you spent.

American vs Indian doctor

Indian doctor

After having continuous hiccups for ~24 hours, I walked to a nearby doctor’s clinic.
Uncle kaafi der se hitchkiyaan  aa rahi hai, iska…” (I am having hiccups for a long while, can something…)  [interrupted]
He replies in a loud voice, “Beta, hitchkiyoon ka koi ilaaj nahi hota, kai baar mujhe aati hai” (Son, there is no cure for hiccups, sometimes, I have them for days)
The tone was part patronizing and part condescending.
Total Bill: 0 ₹
Embarrassment quotient: 10/10

American doctor

After having continuous hiccups for ~24 hours, I drove to Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Checked in for urgent care by showing my insurance coverage and waited for ~30 minutes for my name to be called out. A nurse took me to a weighing machine to measure and record my weight and height. Then she measured my blood pressure. I was wondering if blood tests would be done next, but thankfully she took me to a room and told me to wait for the doctor to arrive. It took another ~15 minutes for him to arrive and my hiccups died in the meanwhile.
“So, I am having hiccups for ~24 hours now”.
“You do not have them right now”, he replies in a pleasant voice.
“Yeah, it stopped moments before you entered the room, but you know, I can feel it, they will start sometime soon.”
“You know hiccups just happen, there is no cure for them, you just wait for sometime, and they will stop.”
I left, and as expected, hiccups started before I turned on the engine of my car.

A week later, I received the bill.
Total Bill: 200$ (I paid 20$, my employer paid 180$)
Embarrassment quotient: 0/10

A walk in San Francisco

“Give me your wallet, bro” he said in his heavy accent while holding a gun to my forehead. It seems, out of pure curiosity, I have walked into this shady neighborhood of San Francisco. “Pull out your wallet,” he shouted, “and count the cash,” this time bringing my full attention to him. I pulled out my wallet, carefully counted all the nickels, pennies and dimes and said, “13 dollars, 59 cents, and one Indian Rupee”.
“That’s it,” he blustered at the peak of his voice while I stood sweating profusely on a chilly night. He was not amused and pulled the trigger.

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Bloody Banana Bread

I grumbled that I have to go through security check on a connecting airport. It turned out that my domestic flight had landed in the international section. There was no secure passage connecting it to the next terminal. I crossed the security checkpoint at LA airport, and after wearing my shoes, I was waiting for my bag to come out of the scanner.

“Sir, is this your bag?” a tall African-American TSA personnel looking at me, said, “it turned the light red on the scanner, we need to recheck it.” I was pretty sure the bottles were empty. I was not carrying anything sharp except keys which TSA people have seen before. She opened my bag in front of me, checked and pulled a banana bread out. “We have to test this,” she said.

I purchased that banana bread earlier from a Farmer’s market (“mandi”). I did not get a chance to eat it, so, it was wrapped around in unmarked polythene, there was no receipt either. Could this banana bread be carrying narcotics? How would I prove my innocence? How would I explain this to my mother? The thought sent shivers through my spine. I felt a strong impulse of grabbing the banana bread from her and swallowing it right there. But fear of five TSA men jumping on me and Mercury News/Punjab Kesari publishing that news held me back.

Less than a minute later, she came back and said: “everything fine, you are good to go.” I finished that banana bread right there while she watched with bewilderment.