Such is life in the desert. It’s spring. It’s heating up. Averaging 28 degrees celsius by the afternoon, it’s no wonder the kids are looking for some post-school-cool-relief. Yesterday I had not even packed them up into the car, and they are asking ‘can we have an ice cream?’
Busy with instructing (ready yelling at) them to get into their car seats, I had the perfect excuse to ignore the repeated requests for ice cream. But DS1 didn’t stop there. On the 20 minute car trip home, he must have asked at least 10 times. Despite my repetitive negative response DS1 persisted. I had to give him credit for the inventive ways he found to ask the same question….if nothing, it was entertaining!
Feeling like the wicked witch of Thursday, I reluctantly gave in and drove to Baskin Robbins in Motor City. I knew I couldn’t go to Haagen Dazs, as that would cause the ultimate meltdown by DS1 – they don’t serve mint choc chip in Haagen Dazs, you know. DS2 and DD are usually just happy to have ice cream; flavour is irrelevant.
With 3 kids in tow, I entered Baskin Robbins and ordered ‘3 small ice creams, kids’ sized ice creams’. Now, we are quite the regulars at this ice cream parlour, so much so, the guys know my lots’ favourites, and when they see us are armed with cone in one hand and scoop in the other, ready to roll a perfect coloured creamy ball. All that is required is to double check that they are not planning on being adventurous with their choices on any day.
The chap behind the counter took the orders and began scooping. Knowing the cost of the ice creams, I left the exact change, AED18 on the countertop, and made my way to the door with 3 very contented kiddies.
As I pulled open the door, the chap called to me to tell me he ‘needed AED24’. Thinking the prices had increased by 30% in the space of a week, I nearly tripped over my 3 kids stuffing their faces to argue how ridiculous that was. But no, it wasn’t a price hike. My 3 had received small ice creams and not children’s sized ice creams. Incredulous, I looked at my 3 not long departed from the ‘knee-high to a grasshopper’ stage, smearing funky coloured ice cream over their faces. Why would the chap think I would want anything other than children’s ice creams? The ice creams looked the same size as the usual ones I pay AED18 for, but the cones seemed slightly different.
‘They look the same as the ice creams I usually get, and I have only ever paid AED18’ I told the chap.
‘No Ma’am, they are small ice creams. AED24’ he replied.
‘What’s the difference between ‘small’ and ‘children’s’ I enquired.
Holding up 2 ice cream scoops that looked exactly the same to me, he said ‘This one small (waving the one in his right hand) and this one is smaller (waving the scoop in his left hand).
And then I remembered why it is often not a wise thing to question things here; regardless of how impenetrable your logic might be, you end up going round in circles and by the end of it, would happily commit yourself to the nearest asylum. But, there was no going back now. I had raised the question and I couldn’t return the half eaten slobbery ice cream cones now!
‘They look the same to me and the ball of ice cream looks the same size as normal. Besides, I asked for children’s ice creams. I have 3 children with me, that’s why I asked for children’s cones’, I responded agitated.
He repeated his evidence about the scoop sizes and continued to wave them about in an almost menacing manner.
‘I come in here on a regular basis. I always ask for the same thing and I always pay AED18 for that. Why is today any different?’
‘OK Ma’am, but next time, remember to ask for ‘not small” he surrendered reluctantly.
After this exchange, I was very much the one in need of ‘cooling off’ but was still so confused about which size was which, I didn’t dare order myself some ice cream relief!