This weekend we went to the local grocery store for some weekly shopping. M picked up a bag of pistachios and threw it into the cart. I picked the bag up and eyed it suspiciously... turned it over and over (I have lived here so long but still look for the price tag on the pack like in good old India). Then ran down the aisle to look up the price $4.68. "I bet its a lot cheaper at Costco" !
"I am sure it is but I want to eat them now" said M. "I have almonds at home" I replied!
"Did you know that almonds and pistachios aren't the same?" M threw the bag back in the cart. Now I am cheap but not enough to throw a hissy fit over $4.68 in the middle of a store. Not to mention the look M gave me "Mention the word Cheap again..." he keeps shushing me so I just shift to Tamil to whine about the "Anju Rupa" (5 ruppes). But I sometimes have the good sense to know when the argument has been lost! So I brought my long face back home!
The bag was broken open and we sat watching yet another movie on the television.
I started again "These pistachios are so small, I bet the ones in Costco are a lot bigger"
"I am sure the ones in Costco are tastier and saltier"
"I bet you get a much bigger bag at Costco for the same $"
I was beginning to sound like a stuck tape of a Costco Ad. All for $5! M wisely ignored me and turned up the volume!
Today when Russell Peters talked about the Indian Cheap Skates.. this was like a Deja Vu. I could hear myself talking to a friend about the pistachio incident and shaking our heads "Who do these people think they are Donald Trump?" All for five dollars!
The other day I was watching a talk show on television and the book Tsar by Ted Bell was featured. I really thought I would love to read it! I ran and saw if it was available at the local library.. mm no luck. I looked it up on Amazon - 27$ .. I called my sister in India and asked her to see how much it cost. She was upset. I wont find it on the street vendors stall she moaned. (Pirated books can be got for Rs 70 - $1.50 there as against Rs 300 to 400 - $6.5 to $8.5 at the book stores ). Finally my uncle told her not to courier it to the states - too expensive. My friend's son's friend's uncle's sister in law is going to Seattle in 2 months. We will send it through her. (????) And she could just drop it out the plane when she flies past North Carolina! But who am I to talk, I look at the bag of pistachios for confirmation!
Talking of pistachios, a friend (Indian of course) told me the other day.. a Costco membership is a complete waste of money. We should share the membership among 4 of us that would be $25 per year per household.. then that would make some economic sense she told me! I looked at her in awe of course!
But we can take this farther. I went to a party sometime back. I stood there groping for conversation .. a friend nearby commented "nice table". Friend A was mighty pleased. "Really...guess where I got it?" I was wondering if you got stuff like that at Ikea. "I found it near the dumpster" she declared beaming with pride. As you can imagine I kept wondering every time I sat on anything in her house! I kept imagining germs crawling up my arms and back! Apparently this is not so uncommon I found out soon.. people even talk about "Dumpster Diving" as a divine hobby! But then who am I to talk.. the pistachio's stand evidence to my inclination! (img courtesy: http://www.collegeotr.com/tag/furniture)
Another friend owned a humidifier one winter and it went suddenly missing in 3 months time. I was at a play date at their home and went to turn it on and it was missing. On inquiry it had been returned back to the store "They only allow us to keep it for 3 months!" Looking bewildered? This is why Costco and Walmart and Circuit City have a 3 month return policy on electronics. So that we could use the humidifier for the worst of winter!
Then there was this guy...years ago we were in a car crash in Arizona. The accident was my friend's fault as he made a turn without noticing the approaching vehicle. I had glass on my face and the car I was in was totaled. The other car had a displaced bumper. All of us were thankfully unhurt.. but as the police car arrived the other guy mysteriously developed a limp and then could no longer move his leg anymore! No this guy was not Indian (just for the records)
There is one thing though that you should grant to all the so called cheapskates! They are the most creative lot! But then its offensive to call yourself cheap.. call yourself thrifty or frugal!! After all we are not like the guy (I don't know this guy trust me.. ).. who wrote the wrong room number on the hotel bar tab, or the one who put the "To address" on the return address of an envelope so it gets sent "back" for lack of postage! (Want more tips at being cheap ... check this out - SNEAKY CHEAP). Me, I am unhappy enough looking at my bag of pistachios for now!
- Cheeky strikes again!
- Who flushed the toilet?
- I love my books - tag time!