I know it seems like I write mostly about Bangkok and this gives the impression that I spend half my life here, but it's just been that kind of week. I flew to Mumbai on Friday and then flew back here on Sunday night/Monday morning.
When I arrived here this morning, I found that the hotel car had not come to pick me up from the airport. In the semi conscious state resulting from an overnight flight, I stood dumbly at Exit B, reading the name placards over and over again. When it dawned on me that the car wasn't here, the expression on my face became even dumber, and this attracted a kind soul to take pity on me and ask me which hotel I was staying at - he then called the hotel representative for me, and a businesslike little woman landed up and then herded me to a car.
When I got to the hotel, it turned out that the room wasn't ready so I had to wait. That was the final straw. I told the receptionist lady my entire life story, ending with how important it was that I get some sleep before my meeting starts. She looked concerned and made the appropriate sympathetic/contrite noises. I finally got to my room and was mollified by the memory of the chocolates that had been sent to me last week by the manager, when I had made a similar inane complaint. I expected a new box of chocolates, but they never came. I think they are probably on to me now.
Despite this ghastly start to the day, the end was reasonably nice. A brief shopping experience, ending with us getting practically thrown out at 10 p.m. from the store (We at Robinsons would like to thank our valuable customers and hope they will patronize us tomorrow - reading between the lines were the words, Get out Get out Get out).
This was followed by a drink on a streetside cafe where an adorable bunch of Thai musicians were singing the classics like 'Anudda day in Paladice (Thing aboud eed)', 'Money for Nuttin ( I want my NBC)' and the opening strains of 'Dhoom Dhoom' when they saw us Indians ( Namaste! We like Tata Young!).
But the high point for me remained the surreal conversation that I was witness to between my companians -let's just call them Strange Indian girl and Strange Sri lankan girl. Naturally, when a Strange Thai girl landed up to take the order, it was a recipe for disaster:
- Strange Indian Girl (looking at menu): I will have a beer!
- Waitress: Ok! Ok! And you, madaaam?
- Strange Sri Lankan girl: I will have the spy wine cooler.
- Waitress: Ok! I bring.
- Strange Indian girl: Oooh, that sounds more exciting. I want that.
- Waitress: Ok Ok! Two Spy Wine Cooler.
- Strange Indian: Wait...what's a spy wine cooler?
- Strange Sri Lankan: It's like...it's got...It's...(turning to waitress) What is it?
- Waitress: (gesturing with her hands to what appears to be something the size of a pea): It's ...It's...Small ( pronounced Suh-maaalll)...it's ...( starts looking almost apoplectic with the effort of trying to explain)
- Sri Lankan hastily to Indian: Look, I can get that, and maybe you can take a sip of mine to see if you like it.
- Indian (nodding quite stupidly): Okay, so should we order two, then?
- Sri Lankan ( giving up): Yes, yes.
- Indian: Okay, just get us two spy wine coolers.
- Thai waitress (having checked with other waiter while the above intelligent exchange was taking place, says proudly): We no HAVE that.
And it starts all over again.
Needless to say, we ended up having two Pineapple juices and a Pepsi. Probably all for the best. Can you imagine what my companions would have been like with some alcohol in them?