Made in China

Friday, June 17, 2011

I escaped out of Delhi and the piled up mess ie work, college admissions and myself to be honest. Urticaria was harassing me, folks just casually asked if I want to join in with them and I jumped at the opportunity. At the spur of the moment out of work mess I had a massive breakout but I needed this breakaway. The saturation point was interfering with my writing and I needed to break that.

Like I mentioned in an old post that it's been a decade since I had a family vacation, this seemed like a good time to bond with folks and otherwise to see how this experience comes about. As funny as it may sound, the four of us (mother-father-sibling-me) have never travelled with just "us". Usually, there is company but more often than not, we divide our vacation plans for reasons (that I really don't want to elaborate considering this should be a long post and I have to go on work tomorrow morning).

On our way to airport in Delhi, we realised, we had forgotten one cell phone and four other significant items that were essential (or so I'd like to believe) for journey (pair of socks, earrings, pen and another thing that I don't remember)- naivete, yes. At the airport, my mother met her school friend who happened to be going to the same destination- Hong Kong, Macau, in the same flight. Yadda yadda. Introductions were done and I seemed to be the only jackass at the airport who was in Boxers (but they're so comfortable!) and they couldn't believe their ears when they heard that yours truly is not in school (and is moving to third year college soon). Shit happens (and the kind of shit I wouldn't want to write on my blog) but essentially it had to do with me flushing red all over (considering I was in boxers and I have hives, this isn't that difficult to achieve).

The flight was pathetic, with Chane ki Dal as main course (without even asking us, thank you) I saw a part of Shutter Island and woke up to sunlight flashing right in my eye and kids crying right infront of me with the buzzing of the airplane flush, "Mummmy, bathrooooom jana hai, mummy bhookh lagi hai" You don't need to ask my reaction to all this- while my sibling found this whole episode hilarious. Same shit happened after we landed, except this time I was bed-headed and looked like utter crap with hair flowing all over the place and totally jet lagged.

Met the other group (the kids) who were suppose to come with us till Macau and their parents were to join us there itself. They were decent- in comparison to my previous travel partners. Anyhow, to cut a long story short, we covered Hong Kong's Disney Island during the first half of the day and it was well worth the sores and screams (induced by the ride). During the next half we got lost, and how. The two different cab drivers took us to two different ferry terminals. My dad had one phone and the other team (so to say) didn't reach the destination (Kowloon, gorgeous mall). They went to Sheun Tak Centre and we wasted about two hours trying to locate each other. Once that was done and ferry was finally boarded, we landed at The Venetian (Macau) at 7 pm after getting lost twice. My folks had asked us to go and look around while they were sorting the rooms with the reception and we started exploring on our own. So much so that we got lost again, this time with no energy, no phone and no clue about our folks at that gigantic place. If you've been to Macau and have stayed at Venetian you'd know it's pretty easy to get lost there. Just describing the shopping area there would be asking you to mentally picture all the decent malls in the Delhi (Citywalk, MGF Metropolitan, Emporio, Promenade and multiplying the luxury brands by 5 with each company having atleast two stores filled with more often than not, same products) together and walking through all of them, yet covering only one section on one floor. Venetian is as big as you can imagine and getting lost there wasn't the best idea ever.

After continuous attempts at begging to the receptionist (who didn't quite believe me that I was looking for my father) she gave in and finally told us the room number- which again, as luck would have had it- happened to be in a different corner of the Hotel. We had been walking non-stop and were exhausted beyond measure. Got lost twice on our way to the room and found the folks- as frantic as they were for us. So much for "taking a stroll" around.

That night we hit the Casino and as expected lost some. One peculiar thing about Macau is the weird stink attached to the place. Right from the time when you step into the ferry till the time you get back to the terminal, everything has a peculiar smell there. I don't know what that is but it gets nauseating after a while specially if it's mixed with the smell of cigarettes. Apparently, my dad tells me the laws in India were pretty much the same until a few years about smoking at public places. Which now, I guess makes sense because no matter where you go- at Hong Kong or at Macau, you can smell smoke and the other peculiar boo. Even my quilt smelt of that.

Next morning we decided to split again- the couple and the kids. Folks got us all "passport" for Venetian which included one meal (at selected restaurants inside the hotel), Gondola ride and this show called Zaia. The meal was valid for lunch only as we had missed the breakfast and dinner plans included casino hopping at other places so we had to avail it then- before 3 pm. At 2:3o we guys assembled and started looking for the restaurant. Shit happened and we were lost again barely making it by 3:15 to the first restaurant on the list called Mango Tree (Thai). The service was poor, food was edible in comparison to the dinner we had a night before (horrors of horror) and the Chinese waitress did not make any attempt to understand English. Very hospitable otherwise. That was followed by some mindless strolling and soon to be followed by Gondola ride.

Our sailor, Alfonso was probably the sweetest person I came across during those 3/4 days. I can write a book on him-knowing the facts he is multicultural in a true way. His father's Chinese from Taiwan and Mother is from Filipina and that he was born in Sicily and later his folks moved to Rome. His father passed away when he was four and then he moved back to Filipina with his mother and completed his studies from there. Eight months ago, he joined Venetian and his favourite story is that of Ram and Sita. That's just in a nutshell of what I know about him. This obviously doesn't include the facts that he's single and not looking for anyone as such but he's really adorable and been endowed with a beautiful voice. He sang O Sole Mio and That's Amore and jived on Jai Ho and All is well.

After this ended I ended up buying some footwear because I could've died (no kidding) with the shoe bites I had after walking all that. That was followed by Zaia. The show was spectacular with brilliant acrobats performing on live music (bebop) and how I loved the violin player. Very graceful and mesmerizing. Post show, we ended up Casino hopping. I got back after the second Casino as my feet had given up by then. Walked back from one hotel to another. It was breezy and beautiful purple sky and clouds like quilt covering it all over.

Next morning was spent packing and shopping for friends etcetra and just strolling around the Venetian. Sibling and I were suppose to board the ferry at 2:3o which we missed (as expected) and had to wait for another 4o minutes for the next one. Later during the day I had plans to paint Hong Kong red with Blondesha who was also at HK with her folks. That didn't work about because my phone conked off and none of the pay-phones could connect to any local number so we decided to stay at the aiport itself. Had the best chicken sandwich from Popeye's topped with Ben and Jerry's strawberry cheesecake icecream. The best meal I had during the trip, quick winner that.

The flight back was delayed (Cathay Pacific, we're done with each other) by two hours and it was pissing off to the core to just sit at the bench amongst annoying kids (again) . The air hostess was hell bent upon serving me "Non Vegetarian Hindu Meal" as my "travel agent" had booked that for me. Neither do I have a travel agent and nor do I adhere to Hinduism. God knows why she was adamant upon the fact and was pretty rude when I explained to her that the "Tandoori fish" served under "Hindu Non Vegetarian Meal" cannot be consumed as I have chronic hives. Either she was pea brained or she was PMS-ing. One of those days. She showed it to me- with a list god knows who had written and against my seat number Hindu blah meal was marked. This time the TV selection was dull and apparently everyone in the flight was watching a really lame Hindi Movie. Again, we got delayed by half an hour in Delhi due to air traffic and the downpour. Reached home at 4 and was jet-lagged beyond wits.

Had a bout of Insomnia that morning and woke up early. Ever since then I've been under big piles of work- professional and college work. Internship has started and after a long gap of two years my bubble of pretty college life has burst and have met same characters that I lived through while I was in school. Today, being the first day at work would be generalizing if I bitch about but that should happen soon. In a day, once my story is over. Features story- blah. I used to always stare at my workplace and tell who ever was with me- "One day I'm going to rule this building". After hanging out with my colleagues today I was cursing my luck and the illusions I carried. How I hate the people (no other way to put it) let me describe it on Monday. What annoyed me further was the number of people I've met in the last five days. EVERYONE has asked me "kaunsi class me ho?" including the immigration officer at the IGI Airport even after I told him that I study at *insert college's name*. He asked me if do "B.Com" all this crap at 4 am. Same with my colleagues. They apparently speak in English just to talk to me (I don't know why). Even they considered me to be in first year. Fuck yeah, one of them actually said this to me "vending machine mat bolo, free ki coffee bolo". I could've died that moment with concussion but work teaches you to stand erect and stare at the ceiling and imagine bridges in pink colour as dragons.

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