srini_vas (srini_vas) wrote,

Embarrassing Expereince with a Bell-Boy

Finally, I had the embarrassing experience that I was consciously avoiding, by trying not to be identified with one of those negative stereotypes (and wherever possible, not to create one), on a foreign land. I walked out of the Las Vegas Hotel at 5 AM after checking-out, to catch a flight to San Jose. At the Hotel taxi stand, a bellboy offered to put my lap-top bag and another small bag that I was carrying in a taxi boot. I politely said, "It's OK", and helped myself. He looked offended and said, "Sir ! It's OK, if you don't want to give TIP. But, you should let me do my duty". There was no rudeness at all in his tone, or I will give him benefit of doubt, as I am the one who was out-of-place. He softly closed the taxi door after I sneaked in, only after wishing, "Have a good day, Sir !". It might be quite unusual for him to find someone who refuse such service in Las Vegas, that too in front of those luxury hotels, where people throw 100$ bills on those strange machines (I don't know even one name, despite being spending 6 days walking along them everyday, to get to my room) and rush to the ATM (right next to the machines) to get few more bills.

I didn't refuse his service to save a few dollars TIP that I might had to give, but, I refused out of habit (or saving everywhere itself is a habit ?). The bags were too small to take help from somebody (Not that I would have yelled for a bellboy, even if I had a bit bigger bags). I don't know whether I should have got out of the taxi and explained him the cultural & habitual differences between India and Las Vegas and cleared the mis-understanding :). I am sure he understood that it was an Indian (The Mexican taxi driver who witnessed the scene started the conversation, asking about Indian economy and population problems, with out even asking whether I was an Indian). Next time when that bellboy sees someone like me and hesitates to offer his service, he would surely be called a racist :(

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