"They say the world is flat, sir", said Jeeves, as I sipped the old Brandy and S. This remark was in response to my question as to where we should spend the winter. The rising euro had knocked a hole into the Wooster finances which, in a fit of misplaced enthusiasm I had transfered into dollars and while one wasn't exactly passing the hat around, one balked at spending the usual month on the Riviera. Dollars! It is still possible to tell the United States from one of the more broad minded South American Republics, but only just.
"I say, isn't it a bit rash to make statements like that? I mean, we went to Aspen last year and it looked anything but flat."
"The author Friedman spoke in a figurative sense, sir. He referred to the phenomenon of technological developments having obliterated geopolitical differentiation.
Perfectly true, no doubt, but not something to spring on a weak minded lad without warning. The old bean throbbed around the temples. "In words of one syllable please, Jeeves", I pleaded
"Mumbai would be as good a destination as Cannes, sir. I propose we go there for our winter holiday."
And so I landed up at the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. A cursory survey of the hotels told us that it would be substantially more expensive to stay in one of them than in the Waldorf Astoria. We decided to rent a flat. It turned out to be a nice place, if a little cramped. The broker had told us that the flat was a thousand square feet. This one looked smaller than the kennel at Aunt Dahlia's place.
"My word! The bounder has cheated us!" I remarked to Jeeves.
"No sir. The figure of one thousand square feet refers to the super built area of this flat".
"The how much?" I was intrigued.
"An imaginary figure sir. Apparently it is the practice among Indian real estate professionals to hike the area by an arbitrary percentage while computing it's price."
Very sensible, I thought, and said as much to Jeeves. Even a less than average mathematician like me could see how it might lead to higher profits for the seller.
"But perhaps not entirely straightforward, sir", said Jeeves, adding that the community of real estate professionals was indeed fortunate to have been permitted the use of this subterfuge by the powers that be.
"Let us pigeonhole this discussion for the nonce, Jeeves", I said, as I could see us entering deep waters. "What does one do in this town for entertainment?" .... (to be continued)