24 February 2009

eM in England (part two)

I've realised the key to all new places is figuring what they call the shop where they get their booze from. I've done thekhas and wine shops and now off-licences, and I am fully confident that once you figure out what people call their liquor store, you're in, baby. Seriously. (Out of curiousity, if any of you are from a part of the world where they call liquor stores something else, do add a comment, it'll be fun to see what the "key" to other places is.)

Anyway, I haven't just been sitting around and twiddling my thumbs since the last time we spoke. I have actually been quite a busy camper and if you don't believe me, here is a list of things that have happened to me in this cold (but still so pretty!) country:

1) I have taken FULL advantage of a very, very rapid internet connection and got a lot of Grey's Anatomy/How I Met Your Mother watching done.

2) I have been ID'd (!) at a bar, proving conclusively to myself that I do indeed look under 18 years old. (This is getting slightly ridiculous. It was cute once, but how long will I bear the burden of looking 12?)

3) I have been sooooo very drunk. Margaritas and tequila and vodka and English boys who drink more in one sesh than I could in an entire year at Zenzi makes for a very hungover person the next morning. Which leads me to point number four.

4) JC has shared with me his Ultimate Hangover Cure, Mexican food, which was so so good that even now typing 'Mexican food' is making my mouth fill up with drool. Also, I haven't eaten anything. This is because while I have become awesome around the kitchen with the making myself coffee etc, JC is my number one provider, as in, he can cook and I.. well, I can not. And so all my mealtimes consist of a dialogue before where I go: "I'm hungry" JC: *Sexual innuendo* Me: "No, I'm serious, I'm actually hungry for food." JC: *little bit more with the innuendo-ing* and back and forth we go. He'll finally tell me to make it myself, I will tell him for the, oh, FIVE TRILLIONTH time that I can't cook, he'll do some more this-and-that-ing and then maybe forty minutes later, I will get some food.

5) Sights have been seen, people have been visited. The British Museum, the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, walking on the riverbank, looking at Sherlock Holmes's statue, bumming around Covent Garden and watching the street performers, and later this week MAYBE Bath, if we can get it together and Hampton Court Palace. Sadly, I leave on Saturday and I'm SO not looking forward to it. Primarily because I'm returning on my own and it's going to be a long distance relationship again for us for at least another month and this makes me sad. But also, I feel very Ruth Pravar Jhabwala and I'm going, "The heat, the dust!" Just spray paint me white and call me a memsahib, I guess. Where's my sola topee? Ram Laul, chai lana! (Heh. Only joking. After watching Slumdog in irony of ironies, a little theatre in the heart of British suburbia, I feel very Mumbai meri jaan also. I really liked the movie, by the way, despite the fact that it seems to be fashionable to hate it.)

Well, work to do, boyfriends to nag, columns to write. Away I go. See you all back in Bombay next week!


  1. We prefer refering a bar TASMAC in Chennai:-)

    Loved the movie Slumdog... It is true people find it fashionable to hate it...

    Katherine heigl is darn cute in those lab coats.

    Have a nice time in England...

  2. TASMAC: TAmilnadu State MArketing Corp. Very focused in what they market!

  3. "Kallu Shop" in Kerala. Kallu = liquor. Also "Beverages Shop", etc. Your theory is sound.

  4. 'Package store' in some parts of the US. You get your bottles in a brown paper bag, which makes a nice package, I guess....

  5. i came to add the kerala thingy. someone already did it.. :|
    Have a nice time eM..

  6. in ontario, canada, it's normally called LCBO (liquor control board of ontario). Occasionally, we call it the liquor store.

  7. lol ... reminds me of my Italian housemate in Gurgaon once saying that "daru" is the second most important Hindi word. "What's the first?" I asked. "Sidha. As in ... go sidha to the daru shop." That was the only time he would bother speaking to the driver. We never called it thekha though - I guess we didn't really "get it", then.

  8. they are called 'bottle shop' down here in south east usa.

  9. 'SakeYa' in japan. 'Sake' (pronounced as 'Sa' 'K') means liquor and 'Ya' means shop.

  10. its always fun reading ur posts, i like them a lot. And by the way, just finished your book, "you are here". It was fun reading it :)

  11. We Chennaites originally call it "Wines Shaap" (Wine Shop) since all liqour shops are named "{something} wines". Ironically they dont sell any wine there.

    In tamil though (Chennai Tamil) we call it affectionately as "Sarakku Kadai" :P

  12. Just to elaborate on the classic 'theka' bit... it comes in two variants - 'theka sharaab desi' and 'theka sharaab angrezi'! The 'spirited' Punjabis have it all!

  13. Its also called "Civil Supplies" in kerala!

    Enjoy ur time in England! n keep the posts coming! :)

  14. Ah...We get going again!

    Say hello to Jeeves and Wooster while you're there..would'ya?:-p

    p.s. Point taken, about Freelance writing taking away from content and Prolificacy.

  15. do you wirte anything that gets published in bangalore? what about us poor ol bangaloreans?

    i liked slumdog too. and yes it made me feel all mumbai-meri-jaan-ish too, even though im not mumbai-ite. it made me feel more hindustaan-meri-jaan-ish actually. i just didnt think it was oscar material, unfortunately. and i think the hype has far outdone the real worth of the movie..and people are forgetting that it was a movie made by a NONindian, that just happened to have an all-indian cast..teh way newspapers and journalists are reacting here, one would think the movie dropped straight out of bollywood!

    sigh :)

  16. When I was living in New York your friendly neighborhood liquor store was called the "Bodega"!

    I have missed you, bring me back a cute English boy in your suitcase will ya?!
    Can't wait to see you on Sunday!

  17. Apo and Pera beat me to it .. TASMAC in Tamilnadu..Find u r writing endearingly hillarious and free spirited.. just finished u r book and absolutely HAD TO find u r blog to let u know that !!

  18. I love the novel "Q & A" more than the movie SLUM DOG..
    There r many differences between the two.

  19. You watch How I Met Your Mother.
    I have some serious respect for you, madame.

  20. Rum shop down here in Jamaica/the Caribbean...yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

  21. Hie...

    I read the first few pages of your book when I got that free with some magazine (btw great publicity idea!) and I knew I had to buy the book the very next day.
    I just lived the book and my sis, i think she read it 4-5 times within 2 days..lol!

    Then I got to know about you blog (No, I'm not an alien) and have started reading it from the begining.

    I know you don't update often but still I'll be leaving my thought every here and there.

    PS: Your drinking capacity stunns me! You're a tanker! heheehe


  22. yay! what fun :) let me know when you're back though - planning a couple of bombay trips

  23. So we've got a whole quick reference for liquor shops! And now I don't have to add the Kerala thingy.. for which i came in :D

  24. Hey Em, just wanted to drop and line and tell you I've finally got your book...just started reading it and love it already...thanks for such great writing! At the risk of sounding so cliched and senti....you inspire me!

  25. Down Under in New Zealand, we call it the bottle store...BTW, u got a real winner in that man of urs...Any man who can cook well is a treasure I tell you!

  26. Please, just tell em where you are watching Gry's Anatomy? I so want to!

  27. hope u r enjoying to the fullest there :)

  28. Howdydo eM!

    Have one confession and one question.

    ---Absolutely completely adore your blog and naturally,i'm a fan :)

    ---I just rashly listed you under "blogs i follow" without conforming it with you first. May i keep it that way or... :( ?


  29. i liked slumdog too. and i am not eveb from bombay!! yet abt the oscar hype i think it was a ridiculous attempt to gain fame at the price of poverty as an entertainment!
    love ur blog!

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