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?