sorry canada, i quit.

27 May

campbells soup.  old el paso taco kit.  cap’n morgan margarita mix. betty crocker cupcakes. bounty paper towels. people magazines.  cream cheese. imported wine.  wii-fit. walls (i mean walls) of western books and dvds. one overarching thought:

“holy f*&k, i’ve hit the motherload.”

last night i had the pleasure of taking up the us-of-a embassy workers on their kind invitation to attend a birthday party. my excitement over this was seriously unprecedented – i feel almost embarrassed about how enthusiastic i was when mrs a emailed me on wednesday with the formal invite. i was all: “oh thank you so much!”,”it’s so appreciated!”, “what can i bring!” etc. and so on. in the words of the eagles: desperado.

anyway, mrs a and mrs b had their super-sweet driver come and pick me up at about 6.30 – i was actually thrilled to learn that their apartment is really close to gariahat – the market you should all be familiar with by now from this and this. their place is optimally located for me.

they live in an extremely fancy community with several layers of gates and guards – they even have one who sits in a room attached to their apartment. i actually laughed out loud when i saw that guy…mostly because my situation is so hilariously in contrast. (i have a deadbolt, a lock n’ key and a 5″5 caretaker.)

the apartment itself was just huge. i kept opening doors and finding maids quarters, galley kitchens, giant pantries, bathrooms upon bathrooms upon bathrooms.  i knew that it would  be intense, but…wow.  the embassy provides them with everything – including new cherrywood colonial furniture. what – obviously a necessity guys.

mrs b took me on a tour, showing off their home office, the ‘american food panty’ chock-full of western food, the heavenly wine rack and of course the curtains they had commissioned because the other ones were too ugly. and while she said they only cost $200 bucks, that’s a fortune here. actually it’s equal to the largest size loan that my mfi gives out:  it could literally be someones income for a year in india.

but i guess they’re not living in the same india i am.

and don’t get me wrong,  i’m ok with this.  they are wonderful, down-to-earth, warm, inclusive and giving people – despite the fact that they don’t seem super interested in getting too involved in local life. (i guess they have to stay pretty american-ized to do their jobs well) and frankly, i get enough ‘india’ in every other part of my world – my completely bengali office and neighborhood will suffice for now thanks. bring on the imported beer and nachos!

thankfully the americans have already invited me out again next friday and have thrown about 540 opportunities for me to further get involved with them. photography club! walking club! group trips! it’s gonna be like a suped-up version of summer camp.

so canada, bearing in mind the above i now have to ask: what have you done for me lately?

i quit.

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15 Responses to “sorry canada, i quit.”

  1. Sean May 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Aha! Al, this was hilarious and awesome. : ) And – contrasts. Huh.
    Keep on being totally awesome! Must go back and read the past few weeks’ entries now… : )
    Cheers!
    – Sean

    • Al May 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      hah! thanks sean! i was 1/2 excited to meet these guys because it will help with the culture factor here, but also because i just know its going to yield no less than 1 billion stories for my blog. hope you’re doing great – updates when you can please!!!!

  2. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) May 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    And there’s no Canadian embassy in India?

    • Al May 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      oh yes yes, but india’s a pretty big freeking country and so the other embassies don’t really help me much cause they’re too far away anyway! fail canada, fail.

  3. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) May 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I am going to call them and see what I can do about getting you an invitation to visit CANADA in INDIA. For all of the taxes I pay I am also going to request a private taxi to pick you up, only the finest poutine for dinner, some BC chardonnay and a loot bag that has a beaver tail in it.

    • Al May 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      if anyone can make this happen, baby, it’s you.

  4. Hannah May 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    What can I say, we know how to throw a good party and make people feel comfortable. You obviously gravitate towards the best of the best.

    • Al May 28, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      lets not get too excited.

  5. Barnet May 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    There are some pretty amazing things that came out of our part of Turtle Island.
    How can you quit when we have stuff like…..

    • Al May 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      i cant argue that this is an amazing song. i would totally drink a case right now. of wine.

      if you can get me a case of wine (ill even make concessiosn that it can be canadian wine. yuck.) then ill rejoin.

      oh yah, send nachos too.

      xox

  6. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) May 27, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    You are definately going to have to get off the Canadian-bashing train. Do I need to remind you why?
    1. we have healthcare
    2. we love vicki
    3. we’re peacekeepers

    come back to fold. it’s nice being Canadian.

    • Al May 28, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      i agree with 1 + 2. 3 would need a longer discussion.

      don’t worry, ill be back.

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