Republic Day of India commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect (January 26, 1950)...Blah Blah Blah...it really means we get a day off from work whoot whoot!
I began my Republic day the night before. R.Day is a dry day, which means they don’t serve or sell booze so everyone goes out the night before. The plan was to take out our friend Harvey; he had just been dumped by his girlfriend, so we used this as an excuse to drink (like we needed one).
[sidebar about Harvey and the girl, they met on New Years eve and had already talked about marriage, he got dumped on the 25th of JANUARY!! it's strange like that here...I’ve been on first dates here where I am told at the end "I love you". scary!]
Aili, Harvey and I met up at my favorite Mumbai waterhole the Golden Chariot. (I will forever be in debt to Aili for introducing me to this place!!) The Golden Chariot is in the parking area of the domestic airport, Santa Cruz east just opp. Sahara Star Hotel.
[sidebar 2: A strange thing; in India restaurants that also serve beer/liquor are mostly called “hotels” and then, places where you can sleep are also called hotels. My assistant says that if you were talking to your friends and you wanted to get a room you would say “let’s get a room” but if you wanted a drink you would say “let’s go to hotel”. And if you are in your town there would be no reason to get a hotel so when you say hotel it always means drink! Anyway Golden Chariot is a hotel, but you can’t sleep there, pass out yes, sleep no!]
What Golden Chariot does have is one of the best clientele freak shows of any place I’ve ever been. Let’s start at the door where you are greeted by…
Now that alone should be reason enough to go but it continues. The restaurant is divided into two areas an inside AC upscalish restaurant and an outside area which is covered by a large canopy. This is the place! Outside nightly they have live music, AWESOME live music! It’s basically a guy with a laptop singing karaoke but it’s great. He sings old classis Hindi songs mostly desperate tear jerking love songs and “Hindi drinking songs” which are mostly desperate tear jerking love songs. This is he and me...
Another aspect of heaven on earth, the golden chariot is due to it’s proximity to the airport it is full of prostitutes looking for a quickie. And due to the coloration of my skin they flock to me…she is one of my favorites…
Seems to be no dental plan for whores in Mumbai (yuck!!) she got mad at me cause I took her photo; saw her teeth; and ran away!
We were joined by Bhavin he used to work at WWI with us. We nursed Harvey’s broken heart, danced, sang, drank and celebrated independence!!
The next day Aili had arrange a full day of activities for us…first we (Aili and I) went to campus for a flag raising ceremony and for Aili to get an award for Employee of the year!!
After Aili, myself and the director of the IT department Priyadarshi (P.D. for short) took his car and headed for a temple. Along the way we passed slat flats…
The white stuff is really table salt being made or grown or harvested…I am still not clear...but it was cool.
So we got to the temple and it’s still under construction which turned out to be the neat part seeing how it is being made, stone cut etc. I had to poop there and there was no toilet paper and had to use my hand. No photo’s of that.
At the temple we met up with Natalie, she’s an Australian doing a research project at our school. While waiting for her to arrive; Harvey called and invited us over for lunch, he lives near byish. So P.D., Aili, Natalie and I went and had an amazing Guajarati lunch at Harvey’s house. I pooped at Harvey’s too; he didn’t have toilet paper either.
We left, taking Harvey with us and travelled all the way down the city talking over the whole India vs. Australia controversy!
We drove down to this remote place in Mumbai in search of Flamingo’s; that’s right kids Flamingo’s!! Aili had read in the paper that during their migration south they stop for a layover in Mumbai so in search we went! It was funny trying to find it, lots of missed turns and bad directions lots of “you had to be there” moments! Finally in the shadow of a huge toxic power plant we found them…you’ll have to look close for the pink line but their there…
After, we walked next door to an old abandoned Muslim temple. Suddenly, out of nowhere, tons and tons of young Muslim boys came running in, it got kinda of scary cause they were everywhere and getting really rowdy seeing the two white women so we left, quickly!
To finish the day we drove to Marine drive and walked watching the sun come down.
It may have taken me a month to blog about but it was certainly one of the best 48 hours in my life. Just one of those great days where you just let the wind (or Aili) lead the way and you enjoy every second!!