wake up call on a fortunate life

I had my wakeup call this afternoon as we were leaving work. as a quick background, the site is still largely a building site with workmen & women living in makeshift tents - a piece of thick plastic (that blue stuff they cover roofs with after cyclone damage) with a couple of sticks holding it up. as we drive past I could see some have a plank of wood which is like one of those wooden crate plinths (not sure of the real name) so it looks like they sleep on this under the tent. keep in mind it's about to be monsoon season, so they'll be sleeping 2 inches above soggy ground most days over the next few weeks. the workmen used to live under the awnings of the walkways - it has a roof and they'd strung plastic sheets as walls. at least there was a cement floor about 1/2 metre above the ground but they've been kicked out of there as murdoch is due for a visit soon and other vips have come for meetings (though they seem to find excuses to leave and only stay an hour). anyway, there were friday drinks this afternoon as we were leaving (early for once!!) - which isn't really drinks like in aus, but is argyaaal sweets and (yummy & filling) vegetable samoas instead. we were talking to one of the guys about the food - they provide a hot cooked lunch for the staff at work (I can't eat it more than once every couple of weeks but some people do). I said we should get the samosas as they were good and chatted about what the workers eat. then one of the guys mentioned in some parts of mumbai there were people who ate a similar dish for breakfast, lunch & dinner every day of the year. I (stupidly) said (without thinking) "don't they get sick of having the same thing everyday?" (which they think is strange coming from me who has vegemite sandwiches every day - brought the vegemite with me and make them at breakfast in the fancy hotel). and he replied, "no.. it's all they can afford to eat so they don't ever have anything else". which made me feel really bad. not only for saying something dumb & inconsiderate but for being so oblivious to the fact that I take for granted the luxury of eating different choice meals each night/day and have never even thought twice that I don't have this option available to me. now this could have been a slight exaggeration on his part and perhaps they do have a minimal choice of really cheap food, but I've seen things here which leads me to believe he wasn't exaggerating. sorry, just had to write this down and this thread seemed like a place for it.

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