Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vattam, Maavattam!

The Appas, Ammas, Athais, Mamas of desis who come to visit the states spend most of their time converting $ into Rs or vice versa. But as a pudhu ponnu in the states, I appavi-ly use to exclaim, "haiyo, tape recorder 55 dhaana! Vangidalamley?" much to the horror of Hd! Then came the icing, sales tax! Especially with all prices ending with a .99, the final payment always seem a mockery! To my knowledge, I always remember paying either the MRP or sticker or the kadakaran sollara price at stores in India. Or if one is really lucky with no 'no bargain' signs, can even come out of the store with a big grin having saved Rs. 2!! Here in the States, if one is lucky enough to live in a no sales tax state or even in the vicinity of such states then orey the alattals dhaan!! To save 5%, we used to drive 50+ miles in the North East! 

It was a revelation that not just the tax, driving rules, immunizations, speed limits and many other things varied from state to state. And when we moved here, it went another step further,  the county level! With our city lying across 3 counties, it took me a while to understand the county level rules, tax(take the right turn and save 1% sales tax!), school systems etc. Anyway, all this build-up is for my latest bungle. 

As a pudhu ponnu in the states knowing nothing about the big deal about long weekends and the mandatory big plans for trips that one has to make and with an absent-minded professor hubby who might thankfully remember on Sunday evening that the following Monday is a holiday, I took over the holiday planning committee chair(wo)man post. All was well until this past President's day long weekend. With hubby having a holiday, relatives' kids having a holiday, Balavihar on holiday and even the stock market enjoying a holiday, not in my wildest dreams did I imagine A1's school district county would be sincerely working on President's day! Now hereafter, every holiday I will be subjected to the "Are you sure its a holiday for me today?"