*Reporting from India*

Well, I’m here in Mumbai. The flight across the pond was rather long. 14 hours from San Fran to Hong Kong. I gotta tell ya, the Hong Kong airport isn’t the friendliest for non-Chinese people. The people were nice, but it just feels odd. It’s a nice airport, but I don’t know how it won World’s Best Airport. I’ve seen better. The worst part was the length of the layover. I landed around 7:30am local time, and we departed 2:45pm. My cousin’s flight into Hong Kong (we were flying in to Mumbai together) came in pretty late, so I basically walked around the lobby for 4 hours, walking through all the W.H.Smith bookshops, and deciding what to get for dad as his birthday present (30 year old bottle of Glenfiddich. ;Good stuff. On the flight in to Mumbai, I was sitting next to an interesting guy who grew up in Mumbai, but was now settled in Hong Kong. Quite fun.

As soon as we landed, we were whisked away to J-49, the nightclub we’d booked for the cocktail party. The club was aight, nothing great. I couldn’t have as much alcohol as I wanted or needed to have a good time, and there weren’t enough single good-looking girls. *shrugs* I begged off a little early, and we went home.

Next morning (Thursday), dad and I went jogging. Rather, he walked, I jogged. It felt good. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up everyday, but I’ll try. It’ll probably get easier when we’re in Baroda, after the wedding. Then, we all went to the North India Association for lunch, following which Saurabh (the groom), Hemal (his brother, and the cousin from Orange County who’s crashing with me in Sunnyvale) and myself went on an odyssey to get our new ;clothes. Good Lord, the traffic was nuts. Plus, the car was small and crappy, and Yours Truly was stuck in the back seat. First, we ordered our new suits. The cloth itself cost me $200, plus an additional $70 for stitching costs. Then we went to look at traditional outfits. I ended up ordering a new outfit myself, which I’ll be picking up later today (Friday). Then we battled through the traffic to return in time for the sangeet .

The sangeet is the musical portion of the wedding, basically. We hire a group of singers/musicians who perform, and generally have a fun time. It’s also a good opportunity to see a good sample of the hotties who’ll be at the wedding, since everyone dresses up in their traditional finest. I saw maybe 2 girls who were relatively attractive. Both of them were connected to me by the following lines: My mother has 3 brothers. The middle one’s son was getting married. The first girl was that mama ‘s (maternal uncle) sister-in-law’s daughter. Unfortunately, she was already engaged. The other one was the youngest mama’s brother-in-law’s daughter. She wasn’t beautiful per se, and she was a bit overweight, but there was just something attractive about her. If she lost 10 lbs, she’d be pretty hot. But I wasn’t interested enough to actually try anything, and it’s very risky to try picking up chicks with that much family in one room. Funny thing… some time ago, I’d mentioned that my mom had sent me a photo of a girl who was “eligible”. She’s actually the daughter of my youngest mama’s other brother-in-law (i.e. first cousin of girl #2). I saw them all come in during the musical performance, figured out who she was, and did a quick appraisal. She looked OK, but wasn’t that hot. Then I turned to look at my dad. He was motioning to me to come sit next to him, and I had an idea of what he wanted to talk about. Some other old fart took the seat, so I leaned next to dad and whispered in his ear, “I saw her, and I’m not impressed.” Turns out, I was right. Ah well…

The rest of the night went well. Roshni (my sister) and I ended up MCing part of the night. My performance included me mis-pronouncing a Gujarati word, so I referred to my cousin as “King of the Jungle” instead of groom. It’s surprising the difference one letter can make in a word. ;I had already mentioned my bad Gujju skills, so they just thought it was part of the gag. Until I said it again. *sigh* Still, mom got lots of compliments about her son who showed such confidence and was such a good speaker.

Funny story #2: We’ve been invited to lunch today by my youngest mama’s brother-in-law (father of chubby hottie), who is probably interested in talking to me on behalf of his niece, the girl who’s photo I originally saw. I told you this trip was going to be interesting. I was joking about it with dad last night, and I told him I’d be charming (which I can be if I have to), but only because I think this will be lots of fun. Full update later.


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