Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sorting Babas

I had an experience today that points out just how easy it is to use the same words to mean different things. 

I had zoomed out of the house for a lunch appointment with my friend Rabbi Dave and had almost made it all the way across town to Baba India, one of my favorite restaurants, when I realized that I had zoomed out without my monk's bag (wallet, driver's license and other necessary items). So - I found a place to make a possibly legal U-turn and zoom back home. By now I was feeling a little like a mazda commercial gone wrong. 

My bag was right where I had left it and I snatched it up and ran back out the door, jumped in my car and sped off again. On my way, I realized that I was already late for our appointment so I juggled cell phone and palm pilot to find Dave's number and gave him a quick call to let him know that I was on the way. "No problem. I'm here. See you soon." So, I arrive at Baba India and walk in, scanning the packed tables for his familiar smiling face, and . . . nothing! Did he get bored and leave? Is he in the men's room? 

I step back outside and take a turn around the parking lot to see if his car is there. No familiar bumper stickers! I begin to panic - mildly. I get out my cell phone and call Dave again. 


"I'm here. Where are you?"

"I'm in the back, where the couches are."

(Couches? What couches?) I walk back inside, still scanning. "I don't seeee you. Are you at Baba's?"

"Yes. The one in Clifton, right?" 

"No! The one in Clifton is AMBAR India. Baba's is owned by their cousins - or something."

"No - Baba Budan's. The coffee bar?"

"...oh. Wow. I haven't been there in a long time. Are they still around?"

SO you see how easy it is to take one name - Baba's - and have it mean two very different things. 

Fortunately the story ends well. We had a great lunch that started late but lasted until after 2:00. We discussed future projects and set up a time for our next lunch - location to be decided - before going our separate ways, full, satisfied and no longer quite as confused, at least about where Baba's is. Somethings are just in more than one place at a time. 

(And it gave me something to break the writer's block I've had on this blog, so all is well!!!)

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