Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dilemmas in Delhi

What an odd week it has been, and we are only up to Wednesday. Hmm where to begin.... Monday afternoon perhaps...
After having left over puris for lunch with my friend Manish and a chap called Ajoy (nicknamed Butch I know not why) Manish and I wandered up to the cake shop for some muffins, then we had a bit of a business meeting thing about a website while I kept trying to get my Yahoo email to work since the Indian call centre fix only worked briefly. Which is better than the Australian one...
Manish was helping out with karaoke on Monday night in a bar on the rooftop of a mall in Gurgaon but couldn't give me a lift, no worries I will get a taxi since the driver was busy. Well I could have taken the metro but really....Gurgaon is about 25 k away. So I managed to get a taxi eventually and gave him very precise directions viz turn left out of the enclave, U turn at the junction and just go straight. For reasons I shall never know he did something else, then finally dropped me at what I believed was the correct mall and tried to overcharge me by saying he had no meter, although when I booked the taxi I was told it had a meter. So we argued for a time and I shoved Rs500 at him and got out. Wandered all around the wrong mall and then rang Manish. He couldn't work out where I was so asked me to go into the street (which incidentally was unlit and no cabs around) to try to spot any landmarks. I couldn't so I walked down the street in the dark past guys peeing into the bushes and thought that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea, when I chanced upon a truckstop and found a random bloke who was only half drunk and asked him in English to speak to Manish on the phone in Hindi. I gave him the phone and he talked to Manish in English then me in Hindi. Finally I got the phone back and Manish gave me some directions, then my helpful drunk friend's face lit up and he stopped a really crappy passing bus and so I got on. I was the only female and when I told Manish he was horrified. Where are you, don't hang up he kept saying. Finally I saw a sign for some big hotel and he told me to get off. NOW. So I started yelling stop the bus and in the end jumped off while it was still going. And there was Manish right behind me. What a darling.
Had a good laugh and several drinks after the escapade. What a dick. I did not however enter the beer chugging competition. One had to consume a 1500ml jug in 3 minutes to get it for free. Of course the local boys had no technique and after swigging about a third of it in 15 seconds they all felt sick. Buckets were rushed to the stage. How tasteful.
Manish ended up staying the night at Raj's so in the morning Raj went to Old Delhi and bought us different puri and halva as well, then we had a wonderful singalong around the piano (well we liked it!!) before another meeting about a website in Japan for Spanish wine. My life is so interesting.
The home front here is not a happy one with clashes between Raj and CA. I do so hate Raj asking what I think, but as I am here as his guest is it my duty to have an opinion and report to Raj. Ham in the sandwich.
Last night however I was very lucky to go to Gurgaon again (this time in Raj's car!) to visit his charming sister and her husband who are staying with their son. I first met them 2 years ago at their wonderful estate in Dehra Dun in the hills north of Delhi. Pushpa is from a royal family in Bengal and both he and Raj's sister Mohini have the most exquisite manners and are a real delight to spend time with. And the food was delicious too.
This morning the Days of our Drearies continued in the front garden for the whole street to enjoy, especially as the power had gone so nobody could enjoy their Indian soap operas. There's one right here. I tried to sneak past but got spotted unfortunately. And 2 hours later it continues although CA has gone to breathe in some more incense at the ashram.
I hope to get Raj to take me to Khan market soon so that I can check my clothes at the tailor. Perhaps we can have lunch.
Or perhaps I have to solve another problem that just landed in my lap. Holiday what holiday?
Here's a lovely orchid from the Botanical gardens in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
And Robin misses all this fun!

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