Sunday, April 29, 2007

Queen's Day

I had a party to attend Saturday night and needed to look fabulous. Well, as fabulous as anyone can look in orange. I napped, I did some industrial strength moisturizing and went shopping for an orange shirt. I know, I know, the metrosexual’s closet is no place for orange, but I had no choice. I was going to a party to celebrate the Dutch Queen’s Birthday. Obligatory orange dress code aside, I am not a fan at all of Queen’s Day. Amsterdam becomes a nightmare as the entire country pours into the streets. People drinking at 6am and they just keep going until the end of the day. The crowds are unbelievable and what would normally be a 5 – 10 minute walk suddenly takes 45 minutes or more. Last Queen’s Day I soent with Nik on a houseboat, then on a tiny little boat that was always looking like it was ready to sink. Yes indeed, the very same boat whose engine conked out on us leaving us stranded in the middle of a canal during one of the hottest days of the year. – you can read all about that little adventure here

Anyway, I was on my way to celebrate the Queen’s birthday Delhi style. In a country where one can find fabrics and shirts in colors that I don’t even think exist outside it’s borders, we seemed to be in the middle of an orange famine. Of course, I realized why when I got Stephen’s SMS that he was boycotting orange for the party. Something about making him look jaundiced, which is just not a good look for anyone, regardless of how fantastic their bone structure is. I walked up Kotla, my favorite crowded and chaotic street here in the hood and found nothing. Fortunately there is a Docker’s store and for some unkown reason, they seemed to have the entire country’s stock of orange polos. I grabbed one and ran home as quickly as I could as I had just about 40 minutes to dress up like a piece of fruit before Danielle came to fetch me and whisk me away to Stephen and Pierre’s for some pre-party bubbles. I have to say, Pierre achieved god-like status in my eyes last night when he was pouring the Moet into my glass. I felt shaky, giddy, like a virgin all over again. These were real bubbles and I felt like Pinocchio had come home at last.

It was over bubbles that I met the rest of the gang I would be spending the evening with. There was John, whose name is actually Peter, but he seems to have binned his real name for an until now unexplained reason, there was Magda from Poland and Evangeliso (I hope I spelled it correctly, but my Greek is a bit rusty) who is one of those people who was impossibly handsome in his youth and has spent his post-youth wondering where it fled to. I feel for the guy, But can also relate. Sometimes I mourn the passing of my cuteness. Then SHE entered. Suzy. Or shall I call her Suzety? See, I asked her if she was Suzy with “Zee Y” or an “S-I-E” and she looked at me, locking her eyes on mine and without blinking said, “yes, it is with a Zet Y.” It was subtle, she complimented me on the correct spelling while at the same time pointing out the errors of my ways. I said tomato and she said tomahto and I was just about to call the whole thing off when she redeemed herself by playing to my insatiable ego. It was very transparent, but worked wonders. I can never resist a good ego petting. She told me how much she enjoyed my blog and I immediately melted to her, placing her name at the top of my list of cool and fabulous people.

Soon the bubbles were gone we were soon caravanning across the great subcontinent to a fabulous farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Actually, maybe not in the middle of nowhere, more like on the outskirts of nowhere. We arrived that what can only be called a modest estate that had white lights thrown on anything that wasn’t moving and joined the already hopping festivities. There was a wine bar, a spirits bar, beer bar, buffet table, dance floor complete with laser, stage with piano where the Swedish jazz pianist would us with his boogie woogie, as he called it. We staked out our territory next to the free shaped pool, under the palm trees decorated with orange lanterns. Pierre immediately tuned into his French genes and started shoving cocktails on everyone.

Nibbly things were handed around and suddenly, the calm silence was shattered as the DJ starting spinning Shakira’s greatest hits. I felt like I was back in Driver’s car and started reaching for my seatbelt. What amazed us all was just how bad the DJ was. It wasn’t only the choice of music which had 1985 stamped all over it, but the fact that it just clumsily went from one track to another. It was all very confusing and I felt like Stella when she lost her groove. At some point in the evening, the DJ played Laura Brannigan’s “Self Control” and said very casually that she had died a few years back in her sleep from an aneurism. I immediately pack up and moved all my belongings to Denial. I simply couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it. How could I have missed such an event. How am I supposed to live without her? Of course it wasn’t until later that I realized I was on holiday when it happened, but CNN most definitely dropped the ball.

Just as we were about to say goodbye, the DJ discovered ABBA and once Dancing Queen was spinning, Suzy made a bee-line for the dance floor. It was only the next day that I was informed of Suzy’s love for cheesy disco music, but that is just between you and me, I would never make something like that public information. All too soon the night came to an end and soon we were all piling into our cars for the long journey back into civilization, to rest up for yet another party on Sunday…

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