Yay! Home! And the internet! I feel like I've been away for AGES now, instead of like four days, only, vacation time is so so short. Returned from Bombay Tuesday night, after spending three of the four days I was there, fairly drunk and happy. I love it when I can do that without feeling guilty about the next day and how much work I have to do and blah di blah blah. Ooh, and I saw Sushmita Sen! Who won my respect and admiration just by how deftly and adeptly she parked her huge car in a tiny parking space.
(I was fully meaning to add that last fullstop and continue, but then, well, friend/date type person arrived and we had to leave and so blogging was sacrificed on the altar of actually getting some. I'm sure you understand.)
Moving on, then. I've realised I like that city even though I know that going somewhere on holiday is totally not the same thing as actually living there, and moving your comfort zones takes a certain amount of time and effort and actually being comfortable somewhere else. Pieces was busy, as expected, so when I landed and made my way to her house (which was right by the sea! Which was Good Omen One, by the way, for those of you who are at home and keeping track of the score) where Noor, her soon to be ex-flatmate, kept me company as we tried to decide what my evening's entertainment would be. Noor and I took a walk to the boundary wall of the apartment complex, where there's this gate that lets you get out and sit on a reasonably clean bench and watch the sun set over the ocean. It all looked so pretty and fairy tale-ish, that I begged Noor to come and take a walk so we could dabble our toes in the surf. "Uh.. trust me, dude, you don't want to do that," she said, settling back and she wouldn't be moved, until I saw exactly what she meant as this dude took a crap on the shore, letting the waves work as a potty shower, right in front of us. But if you overlooked the turds and the smell, really quite pretty.
Since Pieces was probably going to be tied up till like midnight, I called this dude and asked him to take me out somewhere. We went to another place overlooking a beach called Eleven Echoes, which made very nice margaritas so I was most happy. And on the way back, several places were pointed out to me, including Amitabh Bachchan's house (the Egyptians would collectively orgasm, I think) and the place where Fardeen Khan, was it? got picked up for buying cocaine. These Bombay people are repositories of information, I tell you, I don't think I could do a similar homes-and-landmarks-of-the-rich-and-famous here. (Although, someone once told me a story about how once in the middle of the night they were looking for a friend's house and they wound up ringing Satish Gujral's bell instead. But I don't know where the house is) By the time I got home, Pieces was asleep, and when she left early the next morning, she saw my foot from under the bedcovers and left an eyemask by my pillow, but that was the only interaction we had really.
Till about three pm the next day, when the movers arrived, seeing as Pieces and her boyfriend, Gautam are moving out and Noor is returning here, when I (helpfully) scotchtaped boxes together, till I realised I was doing such an inadequate job, that I became the official scissor holder and snipped tape. And then chilled by a rolled up mattress while all around me, people were being very effecient. I'm not much help in situations like this, I realise, but I am ornamental. And I seldom lose my temper, both excellent qualities, I think. Now that that's justified, back to the recap. Interestingly all the movers wore these white Nehru caps, which struck me as quite odd, because all the while they were hoisting up boxes to their shoulders, the caps would teeter and almost fall off till they adjusted it again. Surely, so much easier to not wear the caps at all? And white? To move stuff? No one seemed to know why exactly they were wearing them though, the only explaination I got was, "Oh, they all wear them."
And then the Pieces came home, and we had a joyful, if slightly rushed reunion and she and Noor walked sniffly eyed around the remnants of their old home and finally everything was gone, and the three of us, plus three of Pieces's friends finished a quarter and some of vodka with Thums Up and lay back giggling slightly. So. Good Omen Two. (Only the weather was all hot and sticky and now as I write this, warming my frozen feet under the blanket and tucked under my ass, I'm all siiiiiiiiiiigh. So maybe Good Omen and Bad Omen cancel each other out).
Then we moved to Pieces's friend's house (which was where, for interested people, I saw Sushmita Sen) and drank some more, and another Good Omen happened (well, part two of Good Omen Two) coz dude! You can call for booze! At midnight! And they bring it home to you! What a great city for alcoholics. And so Sunday passed with an almost twelve hour binge of drinking. (And Pieces's friends very sweetly said, when I complained that I had very few friends in their city, "Don't be silly, any time you want some company, you have us." At which point, thanks to all the drinking, I was all overcome.)
Monday, by the time I emerged all bleary eyed, Gautam and Pieces had left and Noor was sitting on the balcony, drinking a glass of tea and she looked surprised to see me. "I thought you had died," she said, and "Order some lunch for yourself and get out of the house, do." But being an essentially lazy person, I chose instead, to raid our absent host's bookshelves, because he had an excellent collection of graphic novels and the ENTIRE ASTERIX AND TINTIN series and I just died. Oh, but then another Bad Omen happened as I was channel surfing and Noor said, "What are you looking for?" and I said, "Some movie channel, Star or HBO" and she said, "Oh those have been banned" and I said, "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME." but it was true. So, you can get booze at midnight, but you can't watch Lara Croft. Strange. (But I went to Palika yesterday with Small and bought 11 DVDs to prepare myself, and I feel slightly better. Oh dude, there will be no Palika Bazaar in Bombay. And no TC. And no place where waiters will know me. Why am I moving again?)
Then Pieces came home and she was early for a change, so we all gussied up and decided to go out, to this place called Zenzi, I think it was spelled, which was quite nice. Oh, and just like previously in Gurgaon, I was given a disposable glass to take away my drink in when they finally threw us out.
Phew. Getting quite tired now. But like, one day to go, so I shall perservere. By the time I woke up Tuesday morning, Noor said, "Okay, get out of the house NOW" so I did, and made it as far as the closest train station from where I was planning to go into town and walk around a bit, perhaps drink a little more, before I headed back and caught my flight at 9.30. But by the time I reached the station Curly (who now wants to be referred to as Shark Tooth, so fine, Shark Tooth) called me and said, "Let's have lunch." And I was all like, nooo, we should go into town and now I have company, but he was insistent so I got into a cab to go meet him, only to be stuck in the Biggest Traffic Jam in the world. (Quite a few Bad Omens, I see) It was such a bad jam, the taxi guy turned around and said, "Maybe you should walk." So I did. I walked and I walked and I walked and finally I reached and Shark Tooth reached, but by the time we got to the Goan restaurant he wanted to go to, it was shut, and so both of us Delhi exiles lunched happily, on, um, Punjabi food. Sigh. Then we took a cab back and walked around on a beach promenade thing, and I got home and Pieces called and said to wait till she got home so she could say bye, and since it was only seven forty, it was all cool.
By eight fifteen, I finally left and got to the airport by 8.45, where the outraged Spice Jet people told me the flight was actually at 9.10, NOT 9.30 and I was the last passenger. So I galloped through security check and galloped on to the plane and when I got to the Delhi airport, Small and Tall were waiting for me and we went and ate keema paratha.
Good trip, yeah?