Thursday, November 23, 2006

Champagne Tastes and Soft Drink Money Part 1

I am going to play devil's advocate for a little while here......

I tell allyuh already that I does be overbusy in work so while taking my 16 min lunch I stopped into Ellerslie Plaza. One of my regular haunts is Panini Cafe which I frequent for no other reasons other than they move pretty quickly, they in a convenient location for me and what they make tastes good. If you don't know about this establishment they try to be a italian themed coffee shop/ bistro. They make paninis which is a fancy word for sandwich. They also make crepes (fancy pancakes with fruit) , serve espresso and cappuccinos (fancy coffee), salads and fruit smoothies. They also sell an array of fancy cheesecakes and tiramisu (yum!). They also happen to have a sister store in MovieTowne which sell the same things with fancier names (the cheescake place nah). So its not to far fetched to say their prices are above average "fast food". A special on their board today advertised a smoked salmon salad at $55 and a crab(imitation!!) wrap at $35. Well I certainly don't eat there everyday and when I do, I order one of the paninis which is about $22 (if i want fancy bread is a extra $10). By the time you get a drink too yuh bill is almost always over $40. The place actually selling Perrier water (fancy schmancy water). Their clientele from what I have seen consists mostly of 'white' house wives and working professionals (mostly white) who always look like they walk out a magazine and foreigners (guess what..white). Many times I find myself being the token coloured person. I actually got turned off of them recently because I notice that a certain attendant (black) always seems to serve the "white" customers waiting to order first. I thought it was my imagination untill one of her co workers started pointing out to her the correct order. The owner is a Syrian and also seems to attend to her peoples first i.e the customers she knows who also happen to be ........ok then.

Well there is a reason for all that background.... Imagine my surprise when as I was sitting waiting on my food , a middle aged East Indian woman rather disheveled walked in with her daughter (about 12) and walked right up to me and asked me to get them something to eat. I don't like to see people go hungry but I honestly did not have a dollar in my wallet to give her. Aside from which I am a poor suffering soul who doh know how anybody Christmas present buying far less a Carnival Costume.So I apologised and sent her on her way. I observed as she went to ALL the other (white) people in the place and asked them for the same. They all turned her down. By this time I am wondering how she could be so bold face to actually come inside a store and go to everyone and beg in full view of the staff. Well she then amazed me further when she went directly to the staff and asked if she could get something to eat. The staff member was a bit taken aback at first but I saw that eventually she was brought out some paninis of some sort. The lady and her child then took a seat in the people bougie store and had her panini and at times even got the waitress to bring her more water.

Now, I not trying to be bad (insert devil's advocate here) but as I observed this unfolding I got to thinking.... As a person begging, how this woman have the tenacity to come in such a uptown place and ask ppl to purchase food. Don't misunderstand what I saying, she free to go where she please. My point is, as a sufferer why would you go into a store which sells expensive food and ask someone to purchase something for you from THAT store. People might be willing to purchase uptown food for themselves but they not going to buy a $50 salad to a person begging. Thats just impractical. As a person begging..why the hell would I want a chicken caesar salad or a wrap ANYWAY?She could have get food for tomorrow and all if she had gone by Pecos or Kamwah. When I eat there, I do so on a budget (never had the salmon wrap). What sort of credibility do you have as a sufferer if you ask for a salmon wrap and a cappucino to go? .You know how much KFC you can get for that? Thats like if I taken up a collection of food for a poor family and say "they eh like Peardrax so send some Johnny Walker instead". NAH ! I sorry , I find that woman real out of timin' especially when she have children to feed. One of the reason I buy that panini is cause its a nice small size when you just want something to "tide" you over untill you get home to eat mummy lunch. What she really feel she doing for her children by savouring the dijon mustard?

I tried to look at it on the flip side....Maybe she did not know hat kind of food they sell. MAYBE she see lots of white ppl and decided that in this place ppl have money so they would be more likely to buy her something. Ok fine. But I still think she would have had a better shot if she had asked the people exiting from the store to get something by Marios. I wonder if she would have gotten anything at all if the owner was around at the time. Even if she got the food, I doubt the owner would have let her take a seat of a paying customer and have the waitress give her full service.

I asked my mom what she thought. Her first response is that the woman was just mad. Then she thought about it more and said the woman probably did not even realise the type of place she was in. At that point she just knew that she was hungry and that she wanted food. And really, for all I know the woman may have been illiterate and could not even read the menu (but I would think she know numbers). My mom being the godly woman she is, pointed out that we all have opportunities to reach out to ppl and do a good deed and many times we choose not to. In hindsight, I probably could have told her to lewwe go by Marios or China Palace. I have a feeling I may have been the only person in there who would have actually considered doing that but unfortunately for the lady, I have spent the entire week agonising about my own money issues and have been ridiculously miserly all week.I usually buy lunch daily but this week only bought twice (including today) BY FORCE and bought cheaply.When she approached me, my reflex reaction was that I doh know how i getting till pay day as is and so she got brace one time. I may not be as bad off as her in reality but she got the short end of the stick. So what allyuh think about that woman boy? Mad, suffering or just have champagne tastes?


kevian said...

heheh nice post!, I belive she jus thought that people round dem parts rolling in de dough so they would hit her a lil thing to eat.

Girl that money thing is ah seen right now.. I buy a car yesterday and travel to work because I ent have no money for

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

That sounds like many people I know lolol. I sorry, I lucky enough that my company reimburses me for gas so i blasting cold breeze right thru. I real spoil , the stress of travelling is just too much for me. Traffic alone does trip me off

saucydiva said...

Kevian...girl you pay insurance right? LOL.

Ilove this post today, I honestly think the woman did not know what type of place it was and just saw people who looked like they had money.

kevian said...

yeah I pay de insurance! dem stinking theifs charge me $6300 and dies with a discount for driving my other car where my dad was de main policy holder. Girl I does get travelling where i wuking too.. but dat ent make a difference I still real broke.. chupes!.

Karabana said...

Interesting situation Diva. Maybe she didn't have any luck at the cheaper spots & thought she may as well try this one, what does she have to lose? I think once you get to the point of begging, image is not a concern, hunger takes over, & all you think about is food, who cares what kind it is.

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

Yeah well I figure that is the point she had to have reached. Her daughter looked terribly embarrassed at the forcefulness at which she was approaching ppl.Moms was oblivious to the place she was in.

Island Spice said...

Girl.. i stop go panini's caw i tired the white folk come in after me and get served with a smile and i standing there like an ass wid mi likkle money in mi hand. But I LOVE dem kinda eateries tho.. Susies in JA is the bes!! Dem need some lessons from Ms. Susie Hannah. She is syrian [obvioulsy] She is ALWAYS in her store, she greets every single customer with the same glee, her syrian friends be liming in there regular but I ain never felt token in her 2 stores. And hell, if paying $55 fi a wrap it ain matter what colour i am, serve it up.
As for ur beggar lady.. as my nanny would seh: 'puss and dog dont have di same luck' .. i wonder if i begged someone might serve me there next time.