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Brown is Brown May 13, 2006

Posted by KG in FS Life, Islamabad.
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The commissary at Embassy Islamabad is great for the ConOffs here, because we're conveniently located right next door.  Late afternoon trips for Diet 7-Up are thus very frequent.  Now, the commissary works on a credit system: you hand them a check or some cash, they put it in your account, and afterwards you pay for your shopping by signing a little piece of paper.  The system requires you to tell the cashier your name when you're checking out — but if you're a commissary regular, like the ConOffs, this ceases to be an issue.  Unfortunately I have somehow not become a commissary regular.  But not because I don't go there often (I absolutely do).

There are three South Asian Americans — aww hell, Desi is so much easier to write — that work here, a Pakistani American and two Indian Americans.  We're all very different looking, though pretty much the same height.  The other Indian handles the commissary portfolio, so is well known to the staff.  Mr. PearlVendor, the Pakistani, is a Political guy, while I adjudicate visas.  Very different jobs, different sections, and so on.  But somehow, whenever I get a certain cashier at the commissary, he inevitably starts to process my order under Mr. PearlVendor's name.  Especially odd considering my Political colleague has been sporting a rather large beard lately and goes to the commissary far less frequently than I do.  

I think this implies that even to other brown people, all brown people look the same.  Which I imagine makes living here totally confusing. 

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Comments»

1. Rashid the Political Officer - May 15, 2006

I hear you. Plenty of people used to call me “Mr. Rohit” and ask how my wife enjoyed working in the Econ section. No one confused with with “Mr. PearlVendor” though. Maybe you should institute a Reservior Dogs naming system for simplicity’s sake.

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