Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Smile please, pretty please

I wanted to write about the hoteliers in Kerala. There's something really weird with them.

We had nice hoteliers in Karnataka, some would ask questions, most would smile, it felt welcoming and you don't feel stuck in a place you shouldn't be at. So nothing to complain.

Then came Kerala. Of course how can we miss our the wonderful service at our favourite hotel in Kasargod. The ever smiling guys with twinkling eyes. Of course I'm not saying this just because they were cute or coz they supported us with the problems......

ps : another post below

we had with out mysore driver ( http://visithra.blogspot.com/2006/05/drivers-good-bad.html ) but basically they were very nice. That night we got our dinner because of them. While I was trying to settle the problem, they went out and bought us dinner. The next morning they helped arrange our travel and got us our favourite driver of the trip, Mohan. Most of all they made us feel welcome, both the morning and evening staff. So how could you not like them.

But that was only till Kasaragod. We reached Thrissur to find the most sulkiest of hoteliers. One I had to find for a hotel at dead of the night, since most places were booked. It wasn't my fault really, I called and emailed them so many times, they didn't reply on time (I found a reply after we left Kerala). We finally got a place and there began the we-do-not-like-customers hoteliers syndrome. They'd look at me as if I was some convict, never smile, say 3 words and not even bother about being nice. I have no idea why.

What was most surprising is the people were the exact opposites of these hoteliers. This we-do-not-like-customers ailment seemed to be something only the frontdesk staff suffered from as the waiters and other staff were friendly and most importantly they smiled! Most Keralites smile at you especially those from the transportation industry whom are quite friendly. I just love never having to haggle over prices with auto drivers or boat drivers, you could even have conversations and again most of all they were nice.

It was the same situation in Ernakulam and Kottayam. The ernakulam one being very sulky and blur as well. We had an early checkout, and I had informed them the night before but I ended up having to wait 30 mins after settling the bill coz he forgot to send someone up to get the bags though I had asked him earlier.

But Kottayam was the most "interesting". Again no smiles but at least they were polite. Was at the counter filling my details, when I told him I was a Malaysian and would they need a copy of my passport. The other staff sitting next to him suddenly bursts into action, so shocked he was, he started expressing it in Malayalam, getting his colleague to conform what he had heard. Unfortunately for him I understood Malayalam, so I actually looked at him wondering why the surprise. He gives me the weirdest look I've ever seen. It was one of pure shock and worry!

The question is should I be happy that I looked local or should I be maddened he couldn't believe I wasn't local! ;p

Anyway could someone please teach them to smile????


Jeevan said...

They dint smile, what a people they are, dont worry visith, i will smile always:) i think they dint have proper training who to welcome others.

Ash said...

Kerala .....
wow ....envy you for being in a place i want to be most of the time .....

ps: not all hoteliers are like these ..they smile a lot and then you wouldn't know where to look

My days(Gops) said...

kerala ulla hotel'a yaarum sirikalai'ah? aiyago....!
(thank god..enga HR kitta ivanga ellam maatala...)
camera'va vachikittu "gimme a pose'nu solli irrundha, oru smile enna* patthu smile panni irrupaanga..

btw, my first job "receptionist"
ungala madhiri oru guest enna, oru accident'la manager kitta pottu koduthu'taan padupaavi....

memories'a oda vutu'teengaley..

@ur last ques...
neenga foreign'la irrundhu vandhu, local'la irrundhukittu, eppadi local madhiri'ey local'la malayalam pesureenganu...he cud hav thought......

Ramya said...

next India visit varaikum unga travel stories continue aagum polarku!!

Aravind said...

>> They'd look at me as if I was some convict...

Edhuvum enquiry ellam pannaama vittangaLe ;) LOL

Keshi said...

u know most of the hotel service these days is crap...no one smiles...they act as if we r the ones who should make em smile! so much going for customer service!


Keropok said...

Nethu rathiri football paathiya. Saaryaana sehtey, antha England team, intha performance-ey vechi World Cup-ey jeyyka porum-nu chat rooms-le posting punnrangga.

WA said...


anasalwa said...

once upon a time my good friend T and I had plenty of time on our hands, we came up with theory why some front desk/customer service people are sulky:

They don't get none at home.

Pramod said...

He he... Yeah well said... Any comments about autowalas at Kasargod;)?.. Been there once. Thank god the fellow knew Hindi/English and I somehow landed up at the right place.
Hey, will be going for project party this weekend... you can expect lots of pics of your Dakshin Kannada district :)

Ezee123 said...

Well I read your travails with a all knowing smile. We are superior creatures here. We smile only in private here. If we start smiling and laughing at total strangers we will be branded as a non serious society.
Now we don't want that to happen.;-)

Ansalwa's theory on not getting any at home leading to a non smiling visage is sheer bullshit.;-)
Does not explain the ever procreating Malyalees. Must be something else.

Visithra this maliase is not confined to the hotels in small towns or smaller hotels alone. This is the situation even in bigger better hotels. Includes the spa hotels and the luxury hotels of Kerala. Just returned from Kumarkom today in the afternoon. It was okay -- they did smile only if I smiled big time. Given half a chance they would ervert to a serious countenanace. Anyway their smiles were bloody fake.

visithra said...

Jeevan : aww wso sad couldnt see it this time - time was just too short :(((

yeah maybe so

Ash : welcome here ;)

awww was there for a short time ;)

heheheh ah that i know - but its normally the ppl n then u wonder am i dressed like a lunatic ;p - havent met hoteliers like that ;p

my days : heheheh yaarupa antha hr? Heheheh comedyahnna character ah?

Oohhh in tricy? Hehehe nah normala yahraiyum pothu kuduhkarathile

memories are nice illehya ;)
Apdhiringeh? Lol but i spoke in english at the reception ;)

Ramya : hehehe hows u darling ;)

hehehe nah another 3 weeks iruhkum ;)

Aravind : ahha vitha enna wanted listleh pothu thaliruviyeh pohla iruhke ;p

Keshi : yeah some of them can be so haughty - try getting into one looking tired they think u cant afford them - even some shops have that habit

keropok : sweeden eng game pahkale - oreh kannu vahli - 2 days off

adapavingeh ithu vereh telling ah? Nonsense - arg - holland game bore - brazil - japan - enna game ;)

Uma : no smile nu - smile pahnithu pohringehla - danks danks ;)

Anasalwa : hehehehe hillarious - we used to give that reason for other situations ;p

i just think theyre haughty - but ezee did point out somethng - population doesnt match the theory

visithra said...

Pramod : ohh autowallas in kasargod were nice - an they charge by the place no extra charges ;p i know a bit of malayalam so it wasnt that bad getting to a place

ooohhh good to know - will look forward to the photos ;)

ezee : good to see ya here ;)

hehehe - ah so thats the reason - n love the sarcasm - but its only a disease the hoteliers have - i had too many keralities smiling at us otherwise ;)

Anas theory - probably goes with our countries customer service ;p believe me theyre a weird lot

hehehhe ah population contrdicts eh ;p

i know was talking about them too - luxury comes with a sulk - ure still at kumarkom? Awwww am jealous - i just dont have enough holis - am gonna go sulk

hehehe smile only if u grin eh and fake too? Bah! Maybe we should pay them less for bad service