Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No edit, just write. India I love you like I hate you. Like I love and hate my messy bedroom.

I'm serious when I tell you, beloved reader, that I just got home, washed the dirt and hours of Delhi off my face and sat down to write.

It's all too raw and messy to be edited. Raw and messy, like Delhi, like the Visa extension mess, like my bedroom too, frankly.

ugh.. so journey starts early. I listen to the Magnetic Fields the whole 3 + hours and have such a good feeling about the outcome of today... I am off to Delhi to extend my tourist Visa.

I get there and I sort of forget how much I actually don't like Delhi. Delhi isn't friendly' its accosting, dirty and rushed. After my visit to Calcutta, Delhi is abrasive and mean. Calcutta might be dirty and busy, but at least people let you be and they have yellow cabs.

Anyway, the traffic sucks. It takes me 400 rupees and 45 minutes to reach the FRO (foreign registration's office) but of course, I'm in the wrong building- duh! So i pay another 300 rupees to get to the proper government building, where I wait. and wait. then I get whisked to another building. There again I fill out papers. This is the strangest and creepiest government building I have ever seen. All the hallways are lined with metal armoirs, covered in dust. strange and badly printed signs cover some of them, reading "room 24 >>>>>" room 36 A>>>>. The is no reasonable logic to the numbering of rooms. I am lost and a little frantic. It's stimulating and frustrating and messy. Where is the room I need?  I get a sms from my colleague  to go this a certain person room 36A, and that I was sent by such and such, an important person, allegedly. I get to the room and there are 4 people sitting on the couch in front of a desk with no one behind it. I wait. 5 minutes pass by, I turn to one of the friendlier faces and ask how long he has been waiting. He looks at the clock and says 'almost 4 hours.'  I turn to the other sorta friendly face and he says 3 hours. oh. my. god. Are we going to grow old in here I say? trying to lighten the mood.. hahahah hmm not working. It's now 1pm, official lunch time in India that is most definitely sacred, and means most definitely that Mr. X will not be showing up now. shit. I try again, to see if I can roam the creepy hallways scattered with tired looking Indians and even more tired looking foreigners. Finally I stop a man and tell him I need to extend my tourist visa I am Canadian, he guides me through more cabinet lined hallways and directs me to another man, who takes one look at my visa and says : "... look maam, it says right here. non -extendable. I really cannot help you. you will have to back to your country to renew."
"but but but... but sir my visa expires the 12th but my flight home is the 28th."With this he stops pushing paper around his desk and looks me directly in the eyes.
"Maam this is a serious situation you are in. You must prepone your ticket. Or else you will not be able to leave the country."
"Good- I don't want to leave the country!" Hahahah. Me always trying to lighten the mood.. in vain.
"No, you will be sent to jail, and potentially black  listed. You must prepone your ticket."
"And what if I can't?"
"If you can't, come back at the beginning of next month and I'll see what I can do."
"but sir, sir I.... I... "
"Maam. I cannot help you."

I leave the room. Now I am the tired looking foreigner, the sprint out of my step. All urgency and hope dull like the sad colour of the metal cabinets.

Do I want to shop? Will that make me feel better? I go to Palinka underground market and that was a big mistake. HUGE. The claustrophobically low ceilings, the hideous blue halogen lights, the harrassment. A man tried to sell me bags that were so obviously not leather and I kept trying to get out of the store and he wouldnt let me.

PICHAY! I yell. BUS! (step away and stop).  Holy I'm turning into mega bitch now. I think food and open space is in order.

I go to Benetton. I get treated like a god-damn princess. I throw money worries to the wind and buy boots and flats. There's nothing like footwear therapy. NOTHING.

I sit at a restaurant and order a beer. wondering what the F am I going to do. My lovely boy Jason meets me. We eat a superb chicken dish and spring rolls, then walk around Connaught Place. He buys me bangles. He cheers me up with his calm and confident way, and his smitten eyes. He drives me back to the trainstation. We kiss. Yummm.

I chat up a lovely fellow sitting next to me. He is an angel. he gets out his laptop and looks up Air Swiss so I can figure out how to proceed with my preponing my trip home.

I am finally home. I come back to my ever so awesome room but am looking for something and I can't find it. It's not the room's fault. It's mine. I am a messy and disorganized girl. And it comes to bite me in the ass.  Everytime.

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