Tuesday, September 11, 2012

(Mis)Communication

I made an unfortunate dinner selection for tonight. After realizing (pre-cooking, thankfully) that no one was going to like the daring recipe I had chosen for the evening, we decided to order take-out. Take-out is always an adventure in this country. Kind of a one-off thing. "Let's try such-and-such for dinner tonight." We try it. It's gross. We don't do it again. And every couple of months, we repeat.

This time I went to my trusty Doha Mums forum to look for suggestions. I came across "Bread and Bagels." A restaurant whose food I remember enjoying at a college lunch buffet. After looking at their online menu, I took a deep breath and dove in.

"Hello, Bread and Bagels."
"Hello, do you do delivery to Gharaffa?"
"Just a minute.".... (quick pass off to another employee)
"Yes, Ma'am?"
"Do you deliver to Gharaffa?"
"Well, yes, but it's a minimum order of 100QR."
"That's funny. Your website says it's a minimum order of 60QR."
"But Ma'am, you know, Gharaffa is so far for us."
"Right. Well, why don't I tell you what I'd like to order and you can tell me if it's enough."
"Okay."
"I'd like the Turkey-something-or-other pizza and the Bagel Pizza."
"Sorry, Ma'am, we don't have the Bagel Pizza."
"Okay, well, how about the Chicken-something-or-other sandwich and the Caesar salad?"
"Okay. Let me transfer you to our driver and you can give him directions to your home."

... (transfer)

"We live in Gharaffa by the big Lulu Hypermarket."
"By Landmark?"
"Well, sort of. We are very close to the Lulu Hypermarket. You know, by Shamal Road and Duhail Interchange."
"Oh, yes, the Lulu next to Qatar Foundation housing."
"No, not the small Lulu. The big one."
"Yes, by Qatar Foundation housing. By Lot 2."
"No. That is Lulu Express. We live by Lulu Hypermarket. The big one."
"By Landmark?"
"You don't know where Lulu Hypermarket is?"
"Do I turn right at Landmark?"
...
...
... (choosing to just go on)... "Listen, we live just behind the Lulu, in Compound blah-blah-blah 3...
"Yes, blah-blah-blah Street..."
"No, blah-blah-blah #3, villa # blah-blah-blah."
"Okay, I'll call you when I get to Landmark."
(sigh)
(previous order-taker gets back on the line)

"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but no Caesar Salad. We don't have romaine lettuce."
"You don't (then go out and buy some??) ... Okay, how about a Garden salad."
"No. No lettuce."
"No lettuce at all?"
"No. How about a pasta salad?"
"Sure. Um (thinking "Whatever" at this point) How about a tuna pasta salad."
"Okay, thank you Ma'am."
"Yes. Goodbye."

BIG SIGH.

We might just eat sometime tonight.

And we probably won't do this again.

(till a couple months from now)

4 comments:

Larissa said...

We like to keep a Carrefour pizza in the freezer - for such an instance.

kooki said...

I always assume the first time I order somewhere that I will end up standing outside our compound as a human beacon for the driver - usually after 30 minutes of talking on the phone with him trying to give him directions as he drives in circles. Same for taxi drivers. Second time usually has no problems, if there is a second time.

Bread & Bagel has great food - if they have all ingredients in stock. Persevere on that one.To get up to your 100 minimum order a bunch of plain bagels and freeze for the next time you need a quick fix. They make good toasted sandwiches.

Baked.By.B said...

Hey Kath, I'll give you my recipe for homemade frozen pizza, so that you can make what you would like and then freeze it and bake when the emergency desperation arises.

Suzanne said...

That was hilarious. I could totally hear the conversation in my head. Oh Qatar and your many Lulus. Thanks for sharing Kath.