Saturday, July 02, 2005

disco is dead

friday night i hooked up again with B and V and over a beer a plan emerged to head to the disco. do i like discos? no, but i thought i should at least experience an indian one. B and V, being european, adore discos the world over.

there is a rule in bangalore that you cannot get into a disco unless you bring (or are) a woman. there is a reason for this. first i should explain that indian males often remain entirely "wholesome" until they get married. this is often not by choice. or at least not by their choice--it's usually that women won't allow anything to happen until marriage. this makes the typical indian male obsessed with finding someone to marry as quickly as possible. it also leaves him in a perpetually hot and bothered state. now the disco tends to attract the few not-so-conservative indian girls out there. we're talking tight sleeveless shirts and skimpy skirts. while this is the way everyone under 20 dresses at home, you just don't see it here, and it suggests, at least in the minds of some males, that these girls might not insist upon waiting until marriage. once the guys realized where these, um, more liberal minded girls were congregating, they arrived in droves. cover charges skyrocketed, but not enough to trump the mating drive. fights fueled by certain pent up energies broke out as several guys would compete for the attentions of one girl. hence the rule and the high cover charge we would surely be asked to pay.

we had no women in tow, but well-connected B knows the doorman, who probably also realizes that the white man isn't gonna go nuts when confronted by a woman in a skirt, though i wasn't so sure about V and his one track italian mind. we were offered entry for 600 each (about $14), which includes 2 free drinks. i applied the best of my formidable negotiating skills, but could only get the price down to 400 each. we then learned that the dance floor was closed until further notice, so we'd essentially just be sitting around drinking like anywhere else, though the doorman tried hard to sell us on the atmosphere inside. turns out that there'd been a crackdown on clubs, the new police commissioner enforcing a disco license law that was previously ignored. every dance floor in the city, if not the state, was shut down until various fees and fines were paid and paperwork processed. this was a bit of a relief for me and a crushing blow to B and V. we sure as hell weren't gonna pay the big bucks to sit on our asses, so we left and instead paid the small bucks to sit on our asses and drink at the nightwatchman, a nearby bar. B's indian friend N joined us and we (well, they really) came up with a drunken strategy for the next night (i.e. tonight) involving a secret late night club and go-go dancers.

i'm giving this evening a 20% chance of success, and a 10% chance of something terrible happening. still, i dare not miss it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

pigeon love

everyday i have to watch two amorous pigeons go at it on the air-con unit outside my office window. they do some sort of spastic kissing thing for a while, followed by "the act", which is mercifully brief. it was sort of interesting the first few times, but now i'm kinda hoping they smash into a window and die.

indian english

i love indian english, which is a lot like old british english, i suppose. a typical newspaper article, for example, might lament the increasing number of rowdies, rascals, miscreants, or other similarly named perpetrators of hooliganism or bamboozlement. i think i will subscribe to the paper for this reason alone.

i do however, wish i could better understand spoken indian english. it varies widely by speaker--some people make perfect sense to me...others might as well be speaking chinese. yet indians seem to understand each other when speaking english even when i can't. the whole back-and-forth communication rhythm is a bit different as well. you could almost say there is a certain impatience to indian english. most of my phone calls with indians result in complete confusion as my pauses and verbal cues differ from theirs.

one correction: the KFC is not new, it was only remodelled. my co-workers were aghast (see, i'm talking like this now) that i thought bangalore might have ever been KFC-less.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

goat pizza

they've just opened up a shiny new KFC near my place. i wonder when i'll finally break down and eat there. mercifully, the only other american fast food chains nearby are pizza hut and dominos. i try to stick with indian chains when possible. for example, i usually get my pizza from U.S. Pizza, an indian pizza chain posing as an american pizza chain (much in the same way that outback steakhouse is an american steakhouse chain posing as an australian steakhouse chain). sunday night i enjoyed a tasty tandoori paneer and onion pizza. for some reason, they always give me a load of ketchup packets with my pizza. i think they think americans douse everything in ketchup and adore tandoori paneer.

last week i had pepperoni pizza at "pizza corner" (another local chain) but it was goat pepperoni. i'd kill for real pepperoni, but you won't even find that at pizza hut or dominos.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

the audition

i was placed in a sound studio and read 2 pages of an instructional chemistry script. i haven't had chemistry since high school and wasn't sure how a few of the terms should be pronounced. why couldn't it have been phyiscs or math? the sound engineer played it back to me and pointed out a few areas for improvement. not sure if i'll get the gig. actually, i'm not sure if i even want the gig. do i even have the stamina to read like that for 2 hours?

met the expats for drinks and dinner later. i met a young swede, B, who has been here for 2 years and therefore has the scoop on everything. B and V got into a battle and i mostly just let them go at it. several times V, in a loud voice, declared his disdain for and mistrust of all indians. this would have been simply lame and small minded at low volumes, but was highly inappropriate at high volumes while surrounded by indians. if anyone overheard, they didn't let on.

B left to meet his girlfriend and V and i went to dinner at "the only place", which is the only place i know of to get delicious and copious amounts of that most sacred of animals, the cow. i just had a tasty cheeseburger, because i wasn't that hungry, but i tried a bit of V's steak and it was very good. i think i'll be a regular there.