Sunday, February 14, 2010

Last Call at Our First "Bash"

Last night was our first “official” function with Gurgaon Connection, which is the expat group based in our adopted hometown. It was a Valentine’s Day “Bash”, which is the name given to their quarterly parties, and was held at the new Courtyard Marriott. Our primary objective was to meet some new people.

The most surprising thing was the general lack of Americans; it turned out that even a woman we had met at tea a couple weeks ago who had moved from Fargo, ND was actually Canadian. We met one couple that had met, never sailed before, bought a boat, and spent four years sailing from port to port around the world. While on their travels, they found time to adopt two children, one from the Marshall Islands and one from Kirabati (of which I had surprisingly strong knowledge thanks to J. Maarten Troost’s Sex Lives of Cannibals, which it turns out is about as appreciated on that island nation as Slumdog Millionaire is in India). We met another woman who had been out in Delhi the night before , somehow ended up riding an elephant at 5:00am, and had the pictures to prove it. Needless to say, our “graduate from college, get real jobs, live in the suburbs” background seems a little mundane, but maybe it’s just our little addition to the diversity pot? In general, these seem like the types of people that can only enhance this experience.

The other not-so-great news that I learned last night, and may have been something new based on the reaction from people that have been here for a while, was the last call rules in Haryana, which is the state where we live.  The party was scheduled to last until midnight with last call at 11:45; however, at 11:30 the hotel staff quickly started breaking down the bar.  When asked what was going on, the bartender said, “Last call is at 11:45.”  I looked at my watch and said, “Yeah, but it’s only 11:33”.  This caused utter confusion for the next half hour as expat after expat approached the bar, tried their own way to talk their way into a drink (which may or may not have involved bribes) to no avail. Perhaps it’s because the hotel is brand new and didn’t want to risk any sort of alcohol permit infraction, but I was amazed (impressed would be the wrong word based on what was being withheld) that they stuck to closing the bar fifteen minutes early; the reason for which may go unexplained forever.

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