Ultra-elite friend group at upscale eatery constantly apologising for privilege
While I personally constantly strive for the good life, I can hardly afford the good life due to my profession and its limitations. But that does not stop me from trying. So for this first take on Dhaka diaries, I decided to draw up a hefty bill by going to Goley restaurant's bOro Cafe located in the heart of Gulshan. This is where the elite of Dhaka city roam around. Where they cruise their Porsches and cannot so much as open the car door themselves. That task, my friends, is reserved for the lowly driver.
I have tried multiple times to teach my Starlet driver to show me the same respect and hold the door open for me every time I get in or out, but alas the middle class can only ask for so much. And get just somewhat enough, I mean. Not abundant like having a Porsche, neither so little that they can complain openly about their lack of means.
I have been digressing. Anyway, as yours truly slowly made my way into the bOro cafe, I took in the decor and the crowd in one sweeping glance. And chose to sit next to a crowd of young women and a few men. The women are dressed snazzily in high-waisted pants and loose yet somehow fitted shirts, the men in tailored shorts and Hawaii shirts.
The group ordered generously with not a thought given to the hefty prices. And in between the courses arriving, I eavesdropped and learned that one of them was leaving Dhaka to work with underprivileged people. One of them is an artist who hates being associated with the rich and elite because his art is all about questioning the status quo.
"I cannot believe he is friends with a guy whose money comes from exploiting the poor. They have factories, you know where people toil day and night to make sure these guys have such cushy lives," said one group member.
"Mmm... this goat cheese and beetroot is really good. I would totally pay twice the exorbitant price I am paying now. Ugh! Self-awareness is a curse," said another.
As I watched in awe at the perfect balance of self-awareness and lack thereof I too found myself caught in their ways. Why, of course, I would sell my kidney for their risotto, and also shame myself for doing so but continue to do so.
Busy activity on the other table brought my attention back to the table in question.
I noticed the artist was angry. He was ready to complain. And nothing would stop him from doing so. Turns out the broth in his ramen "was not even a broth. They didn't use the right combination of ingredients. They didn't simmer it down for a long time as well. I mean the waiter has to answer for this. I am going to give him an earful for this behavior.
"Actually Bangladesh doesn't have any concept of a service industry, they will just open a store anywhere and think that's it, their job is done. Well their job is not done. I paid for this ramen and I should have gotten it. Not this sorry excuse. The prawns in the soup are overdone as well," said the visibly livid artist.
I unfortunately have to wrap up this diary way before I should have, because the food is here and I had to focus all my energy on how to appear like I can use the cutlery and behave appropriately at fancy restaurants.
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