Two weekends ago we had a huge thunderstorm with lots and lots of rain, and very little drainage. Matt and I watched the drama unfold from the top floor of a restaurant right next to the biggest, most congested intersection in the city. The rain poured down, eventually flooding the streets, especially the intersection. We delighted in watching the tuk-tuks (and then the cars, and finally the people) float down the road as they tried to make left turns. We did not see any cows, however, because it seems they have more sense than people when it comes to rain. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the road-river, but I got a few from a little further down.
RC Dutt Road, right in front of the hotel. The water was thigh-high a little further up the road, but I was too lazy to walk back over there.
Tuk-tuk splashing through.
I haven't seen this puddle dry since we got back here. Usually someone drives through it and splashes me, and then I yell at them. Once, someone said sorry. It was the best day.
Last week I watched two movies that I would have had absolutely no interest in had I been almost anywhere else in the world: "Predators" and "The Expendables". Both were kind of dumb, but what they lacked in plot, they made up for in action. I've decided I'll probably have to stop going to the movies on Saturdays because it's too crowded with Indians on cell phones. The guy in front of me last Saturday actually called someone during the movie. Also, (and I know I've alluded to this before) Indian people laugh a lot at movies... but not at funny parts. I don't understand this, therefore I get really irritated when the whole theater is laughing. Maybe they're laughing at me... "Look at her white skin and light eyes... and she's not even on her cell phone? Stupid laowai." (Laowai means foreigner in Mandarin. I don't know any words in Gujarati or Hindi, or I would insert them here to show my foreign language prowess). Next time maybe I'll wait for Sunday.
While we're on the subject, I would like state for the record that while I really enjoy having a movie theater here, there are only so many movies a person can watch in a period of time. The movies I have seen at the theater here are (in order): "Inception", "Salt", "Twilight: Eclipse", "Predators", and "The Expendables". (I had also already seen "Inception" AND "Eclipse" in America, so those I watched for the second time.) That's five movies in three-and-a-half weeks. This doesn't sound so bad when you consider I've got nothing else to do, however, this is not including the hundreds of movies I've watched on TV or on my computer. I guess my point is, I'd like to have some other form of entertainment besides movies. Like bowling. Or a bar. Or a bowling alley that had a bar in it (and maybe a KTV downstairs... ahh, how I miss Dushanzi).
A classic picture of Tom's impeccable bowling form in Dushanzi.
Classic picture of Krishnan and Tom drinking at the bowling alley. Danielle and I always split a bottle of wine... or two. Can you tell I'm struggling with the lack of alcohol here?
On another note, I was thinking that maybe this job would provide a really nice break for my liver, seeing as how I can't drink as much as usual. However, recently I've discovered that Malarone (the malaria pills we have to take every day) are really bad for your liver... so I guess there's no rest for the weary (the weary in this case being my liver). I guess it will get a good long break when I'm pregnant. But not before.
Oh, I almost forgot about the best news of all! After weeks of badgering the front desk staff and sales managers about the inadequacy of our room, Matt and I finally got upgraded to a nicer room! It's still nothing super fancy, but it's so much better than before that it feels like the Ritz. Even the bellhop appreciated our switch by saying "This room is much better. Good bed, good A/C, garden view." As there isn't really a garden here, there isn't really a garden view, but I can overlook that minor detail. Let this be a lesson to all you other roadies... with a little persistence, and A LOT of annoying of the hotel staff, anything is possible. I haven't taken any pictures of the new room yet, but don't worry, I will. I have to leave myself something to blog about for later.
Independence Day gift from the hotel.Yesterday was India's Independence Day, which is a pretty big deal. According to the flyer housekeeping left in my room, "The midnight of August 15, 1947 is memorable for every Indian on Earth, as it is the time when India gained independence from the stranglehold of the mighty British." We were invited to a "flag raising ceremony" Sunday, which we didn't attend because it was at 8 in the morning, AND the dress code was "Smart Casuals". We didn't feel like getting our smart casuals on, so we stayed in bed. We saw one firework while we were outside playing frisbee. Probably they did other stuff, too, but we didn't really get in on the fun.
I just got back from the coffee shop that we just discovered yesterday. It has coffee that actually tastes like coffee, and it isn't too dirty or fly-filled. Ryan and I just spent two hours drinking coffee and chatting. Consequently, my fingers are now shaking from my caffeine surge, and I probably won't sleep tonight. Ahh, but it's a small price to pay for a new activity.
Anyway, despite alllll the hardships of this place, (and I think you know there are many) Matt and I are doing just fine. Tonight is "Top Chef Monday" which we celebrate by making pasta on the hot plate and watching "Top Chef" (several seasons behind) on AXN at 8, and then "Top Chef Masters" at 9. Feel free to be a little jealous. I would be.