There are many, many things that I love about living in other countries, but I think one of my favorites about this particular city is how people tell you exactly what they think. People speak the truth, and they mean it with the best intentions. I honestly love it. So, the following is shared with great amusement and without tears, I promise. Please, do not feel like you have to contradict anything. Say it with me, “It’s just different here.” I feel quite free to laugh at this, so you should too.
Day one of Dian being here, I took her shopping for kurtas. I should clarify for those of you that don’t know her, that Dian is pocket sized. She is almost a head shorter than I am and quite petite. (Reminder if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen me, I am not petite.) We walked into the store and started looking through the extra small section (consider that your foreshadowing). I held up a top for her, and a salesperson came over and said, “Oh, ma’am, that is not for you, is it?! Your size is over here!” Even as I write this, I am shaking my head in bewilderment. Is this part of their training?
A few weeks later, I was in a bit of a mood and felt like shopping, so I went into some of the nicer boutique stores to try on clothes that I could never afford. I found a really cute top and decided to try it. I took it to the back, and the woman there put it in the room for me and said, “Don’t worry, ma’am. This should fit you. It is a large size.” Cue thought bubble: “Wow, thank you. I was in a near panic over that.” I wanted so badly for it to fit me like a glove and then to not buy it because I didn’t like it, but sadly, she was wrong. I should have worried. It didn’t fit.
A few weeks after that (as in a week ago), I was waiting for some friends and wandered into a store and started looking at a jacket. Yes, I know where I am, but I was bored, and I’m going to be in cold weather soon. Anyway, I picked up the jacket (size L) and sort of pondered the possibility of trying it on when I heard a soothing voice next to me, “If you like this, ma’am, I can try to see if we can find your size.” It really is salesmanship at its best.