Generally I always carry a fair amount of cash with me, coz I’m a bit paranoid as to what might happen if I’m stranded without cash. The set of incidents which happened just now will now ensure that I will always carry cash with me.

I’d been to Hotel Balaji Woodlands for dinner – I don’t go there often, but have been there enough number of times to know that they *do* accept Debit cards. Now it so happened that I didn’t have enough cash with me – I had only Rs 30. Wondering whether I should goto the hotel or not, I just decided to go there. I ordered Naan and Kaaju paneer(or, kaaju curry as that was what given to me, the paneer – well they decided to eat it themselves 8-| ) . I asked for the bill – it came upto Rs. 50. Fair enough I went to the cashier and gave him my debit card to charge it to that. The next set of events left me dumbfounded. Here’s the conversation

Me: (hands over bill and ATM card)

Hotel Guy(HG): (Shakes his head)

Me: What?

HG: Rs 50.. not enough

Me: I don’t have cash. Either you accept that or you give me this meal for free

HG: (puts my ATM card into the drawer)

Me: (Getting pissed) Hello, give me my ATM card back

Waiter: You go get cash, then I’ll give card

Me: Hello? How do you expect me to withdraw cash WITHOUT my ATM card? :-w

HG: We don’t accept debit cards for small amount

Me: (Me with voice raised, and bit of temper) What kinda stupid Hotel do you run? The one which says We accept debit card, but then reject it for “small amounts”? Give my debit card back.

(Now it begins to look like a scene – there are few foreigners in the hotel, and he obviously doesn’t want the incident to be heard to all)

Finally, he gives my ATM card and asks me to pay for the dinner tomorrow. I say fine

So here’s 50 paise to the hotel guy. I hope that amount is “big enough” to be charged to a debit card.

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