Tag Archives: spelling

Mister India

I was reminded by the following tweet from a fellow Toastmaster from Finland of a funny anecdote from a few years ago.

In May 2011 Luca and I attended the annual shareholders’ meeting of Berkshire Hathaway (see here a post describing the experience). One of the activities for shareholders that we joined was to dine on Sunday evening at Piccolo’s, a steakhouse popularized by the taste of Warren Buffett, apparently a frequent customer (we indeed happen to have him dining together with Bill Gates two tables away).

The anecdote I wanted to share in this post stems from my rather strong Spanish accent when speaking English, together with the little vocalization effort that I put sometimes in my speech plus the use of the phonetic alphabet to spell words.

When I wanted to book a table at Piccolo’s to have that dinner, I was asked my surname, which is uncommon even in Spain, thus I spelled it: India, Romeo, Alfa, Sierra… Hours later, we arrived at the restaurant and informed the waiter that we had a reservation, at the name “Irastorza”. She went to check her registry. Swiftly and politely she said: “sure, come along with me”. I was close enough to her to see that in the book she had just noted: “India”.


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