Sunday, April 29, 2007

Porsche Anyone?

It all started with an sms. I asked Stephen if he and Pierre would like to meet for cocktails Friday evening. I had a long week at the office and my whole body was screaming “two drink minimum”. They accepted and we decided to check out the Ivy. A couple of hours later, they cancelled out on me and suddenly it was teardrops on the dance floor all over again. But all was not lost and I was soon on my way to see Patti and Laurent, who live on my street, and who are also in possession of a flat that I personally feel should be given to me.

So there we sat on their terrace having cocktails and pasta with salmon while the little kittens played on played hide and seek and the mosquitoes feasted on gora flesh from the countries. They were going to someone else’s house for drinks and while I was really planning on going to bed early and getting some beauty sleep, I ended up tagging along to an oversized house on Prithviraj Road. Those are the homes that you never get to see, just the walls and gates that shield them from the rest of the world. While there were only 5 of us for drinks, there was at least double that in staff. There’s a man who opens the gate, the one who opens the carved glass doors, the one to point us into the large and empty living room where there was yet another to point us into the drawing room. Once there, there were 3 more, 1 to make drinks, one to serve them and one to serve hors d’ouvres – or as an old friend of mine used to call them Horsey Doors and I am sure there was a whole lot more where they came from.

After a quick round of drinks in the mansionette, it was off to a party in CP where we were immediately shoved onto the red carpet, flash bulbs going and people bussing one another. It was only when I almost smashed into the immaculately shiny Porsche on the carpet that I realized what was going on. Porsche was throwing a party for the who’s who of Delhi at a bar named Veda. Of course the coin only fully dropped when someone asked me which Porsche I was thinking of buying. I merely replied that I hadn’t made up my mind yet and ordered another perfectly mixed mojito and ogled the beautiful people with that look of "why am I here?" so that nobody would see I was somewhat impressed.

I learned an extremely valuable lesson on Saturday. Hangovers in Delhi should be avoided at all costs. The roads, the traffic, the heat, the honking. It takes a simple hangover and turns it into a torturous version of Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. Having left the party at about 4, I was offered one of the guest rooms at the appropriately staffed house where we had sucked down our cocktails just a few hours earlier. Suddenly at 10, there was a knock at the door. I had to get up as the host had to catch a plane to Bombay. Yes, I know it’s called Mumbai these days, but I like prefer the name Bombay. Imagine Samantha Stevens calling for Doctor Mumbai. It just doesn’t have the same ring. Anyway, there I was, my head spinning right round like a record, in someone else’s car and someone else’s driver going through my breathing tricks to keep last night’s nibbly things tucked safely in my tummy. Delhi roads are not unlike a rollercoaster, lots of roundabouts and flyovers and my stomach was just not having it. I kept breathing and chanting "just let me get home." I felt like Dorothy. I will spare everyone the details, but I arrived home with about 9 seconds to spare.

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