Friday, October 28, 2005

My Favorite Time of Day at the Office

India, right next to China and colonised by the British, has a great tea culture. Chai, tea mixed with a lot of cream, sugar and sometimes spice, is generally served to all guests during a visit. It can be served at any other time as well. I generally have chai with Marie biscuits and Cadbury chocolate while reading a book after dinner.

There is also a huge culture of service. Almost nothing is self serve here. If you are eating at a restaurant (any restaurant not even an expensive one) a doorman will open the door, a waiter will pull out your chair, and a server will actually serve the food on to your plate from the dish he brings to the table. Even at the office it is one guy's job to keep water bottles filled and clear and prepare the lunch plates.

About three times a day he serves chai or coffee. And even the sight of him walking by my desk with the little tea cups make me happy. He gets a kick out of how excited I act to have a hot cup of chai.

Just imagine- You are hard at work, reading documents, going over meeting notes, trying to workout some logistical issue. And suddenly someone is at your side giving you a cup of chai and a smile. Things just never seem that bad with chai in your hand.

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