Monday, 19 April 2010

As I was saying...

Only just yesterday in a zen sunday mode, I wrote that being unable to go somewhere can be a kind of freedom. So it's as if God is laughing heartily now, because this evening I was all ready to go out to see a friend's concert and I got in the car which sputtered and refused to start. Am I being tested ? I don't seem to be able to get away with anything, ever - I was the kid who always got caught.
However I am also the kid who doesn't let others get away with stuff I don't think is right. I recently got quite cross with Mia Market. It's the posh organic little hole in the wall cafe on the street where I live in Rome. A couple of nights ago, feeling lazy but healthy, I went in to see what they had in the way of soups for dinner. I found a carton of home-made soup and asked the price which I was informed was 4 euro (about $6). So I bought the soup and went home. In the elevator on the way up to my flat I opened the carton and was horrified to find it less than half full. I kid you not, there was less than 200mls of soup in there - not enought to feed a baby! So I marched back in and announced that it was "half-empty" - note the deliberate choice of point of view here. I was informed that it was supposed to be that way. I gave them what for and here's what I said: this is 2 spoonfuls of soup, we're living in a massive economic crisis at the moment, soup is 90% water, the people who pay this price for something so small are as guilty as those who charge this inflated price because they are feeding the same system, I want my money back. Now, it is quite possible that in the history of Mia Market, no one has ever complained about the prices. They sputtered and stalled (much like my car this evening) and looked embarrassed and generally flawed, but I got my money back. My neighbourhood is pretty touristy which means it's expensive because the prices are set for the tourists not for the residents. And while I agree that" it was only soup Sylvie for Pete's sake" - I am glad that I learned to complain effectively from living in the US for 10 years. Americans are fabulous at customer service and getting what they want - something Italians know relatively little about in comparison. I may have been excessive but I am so glad that I stand up for myself.
PS I had an omelette at home instead, for those wondering!

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