I sat down on the plastic chair. The plastic table in front of me was layered by a flower-patterned plastic sheet. It looked worn out. If plastic had life, it would probably have been dead. Nevertheless, it held an ancient charm to it. People often find old houses and old cars charming. Can’t old plastic be charming too?
I had never seen dai sit with a customer. He was either behind the reception or in the kitchen. He moved with such grace between the reception and the kitchen that some would assert that he was made to be in such a role. A ‘natural’. I did not know dai more than through a businessowner-patron relationship. Nevertheless, I found him to be a jolly and well-liked person.
Dai was sitting with a girl of my age. They seemed to be exchanging niceties. I did not know what they were talking about before but a particular phrase caught my attention.
“You smoke cigarettes like a Thakuri girl.”
I looked up from my book and towards them. The girl smiled, perhaps out of politeness.
“Really, you smoke like a Thakuri, or a Bahun-Chettri girl,” he continued. “Not like one of the bigreko ketis.”
“Hajur,” came the reply. If I were her, I would not know what to reply either.
Dai‘s amusement continued. “When you smoke, it feels like you have class. When other girls smoke, I don’t sense that.”
The conversation continued and I went back to my book. Who were these bigreko ketis? I wonder.