Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bomb - Ay

We did, in fact, make it to Bombay (Mumbai for all those concerned with political/historical/geographical correctness) last weekend.  We got tickets two weeks ahead of time, which is unheard of for life on the road.  It was so early, in fact, that I started having mini anxiety attacks at the idea of being locked into this trip.  What if something else comes up?  What if I get sick and can't make the flight?  What if we get released before then?  (That last one was a joke.  HA.)
Sign at the Baroda airport.  Matt has now taken to saying "reGREATed" whenever possible.  

All my worrying was for naught it seems, and we had a remarkably "normal" weekend in Bombay with Jason and Mary and Andrew Novotny.  I use the term normal loosely, as Bombay's "normal" is no longer my "normal".  It is in no way "normal" for us Barodians to stay at a nice hotel, enjoy free happy hour every night, eat "American" food (beef burgers?  Are you kidding me?), and hit up an actual bar where you can order drinks, and they bring them to you, and then you order another round, and they bring those to you as well.  And the drinks have alcohol in them.  I may have gone a little overboard with my "astonishment italics", but that's only to show you how astonished I actually was.  Hugely astonished.

Anyway, aside from hanging out and feeling like we weren't in India, we didn't do much the whole weekend.  Saturday we all piled into Andrew's refinery car (a four-seater at best, we stuffed 6 people in, including the driver - who wasn't too pleased, by the way) and drove the hour-plus into downtown to get our alcohol permits renewed.  Easier said than done, of course, as the people at the tourism office spent 45 minutes looking for ways to refuse us.  We tried to fight them about it, as there appears to be no written rule denying our right to drink in Gujarat, but in the end, they won.  They always do.  We got them slightly extended, but not enough.  Not nearly enough, considering we will likely be here until June.  Can you believe that?  June!  Ugh.  Whatev.  I'd like to take a moment to mention that the lady at the tourism office is the same woman who we spoke with in December who wouldn't extend our permits then because our visas were about to expire.  This woman is horrendous.  To say she is unpleasant would be a vast understatement.  Suffice it to say that I hope karma treats her just as she's treated me on the two occasions I've been unfortunate enough to deal with her.  Although I suppose living in India your entire life might be karma's way of punishing you for your past life... Just to be on the safe side, I think I should call on everyone to send negative energy her way, and maybe we can get enough bad vibrations going to at least maker her stub her toe or something.

After our tourism department fiasco, we were a little bit spent and didn't really have it in us to do much else.  We did meet a little boy at the park who told us his favorite food is mouse masala.  Mouse.  Masala.  He said chicken masala is okay, but mouse is better.  I asked him if he ate fried mouse and he looked at me astonished and said "How do you know about fried mouse?"  I didn't have the heart to tell him I was just joking, so I said it sounded good to me.  He said fried mouse is okay, but mouse masala is better, and then he invited me to his house so his mom could make me some.  Thanks, buddy, but I think I'll pass.
This is me (eating, of course) and our new little friend.  I stole this picture from Mary's blog.  Thanks, Mary.  

He told us all about how he sets traps and catches the mice, and sometimes they are big, like "half a kilo".  Half a kilo!  Sorry little guy, but that sounds like it might be a rat instead.  Rat's probably not that much different than mouse, if you subtract the risk of black plague.  I was pretty shocked by the whole conversation, but then I thought about it, and it's probably smart that he catches his mice/rats for dinner.  Free food, good protein, tiny little mouse bones you can make into a necklace and then sell to make some pocket rupees.  Win, win, win.

Anyway, that was about all of it.  Oh, in case I haven't mentioned this little tidbit, I will mention it now:  When you fly into the Baroda airport, you have to take a bus from the airplane to the terminal.  It is very close.  Like maybe 200 feet close.  But they won't let you walk.  One time, there was no bus, so they told us to wait.  The entire flight said screw that, and we all took off walking, while the flight attendants chased us down and said "No!  You cannot walk!".  It was the best day.
This is the view of the airport from the airplane.  See?  SEE?! It drives me crazy every single time.  


  1. Troy liked to break out only speaking spanish when they did stuff like that so they didn't think we could understand them! LOL

  2. -How you get so big? McDonalds? Beer?
    -Yes, Beer.
    -How many?
    -36 per day!
    -Wow! How many wives do you have?
    -Yes, one wife is boring.

  3. -You shouldn't eat so much American Subway. Makes you fat.