Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Bowlers of Pakistan and the Batsmen of India

Wow, what a great night. It's around 3 here, so I realize it's already dark at home, but whatever. Tonight we discovered that there are more people who enjoy going out in our building, we also discovered that I am the token white kid. So we went out to the Social Centre (we being House 24 3-1 and 1-1) Two shots of tequila and a pint later we're sitting in a corner booth, laughing and joking. We talk about girls, the night ahead, silly things Americans do. Then we pick up and start the trek down to the Union. The entire way is one long chat and running joke. At the union we queue up for the international party, head downstairs and through the doors.

No one is on the dance floor yet, just sitting around the edge drinking their first drinks. So we go to the bar and get a round of whatever is cheap. Once we each have our diod we take a turn through the room to see if there are any girls who want to dance. Everyone is just settling in and nobody wants to be the first on the floor, then we run into Bhavana (who I met earlier) she's prettier tonight. We chat for a bit, then she goes with her friends. We are near the door, so when a group of Spanish girls come in they run into us, we chat, decide to go to the bar and get a drink. Once the girls have picked out their drinks we head out on the dance floor. Dancing in a disco is entirely different here, it's not a one on one thing where you get as close as possible and grind, it's a social thing, you stand in a circle and talk while you take turns acting like an idiot.

Sufifia and her friends are waiting for someone, so when she gets a text they have to go find someone and they'll be back, so I go find the rest of the guys I came with. There's a circle of them standing around. After the usual apologies for my lack of dancing ability AJ gets me into an Indian dance which leads to a good laugh. Since it's all in good fun I do my best imitation of a country jig, which isn't easy to disco music. This is another grand joke.

Soon enough the Spanish girls came back, and after a bit we end up sitting down talking for about an hour. Most of them are here studying English Philology. They've only arrived yesterday, and somehow Phillip, AJ and I have already acquired the roles of knowledgeable veterans, so I give them directions to different facilities.

Eventually the party winds down, the dance floor is empty again, so I walk the Spanish girls out, then, since they are in a group and the street is well lighted we say goodnight, with the obligatory kiss on the cheek, Sufifia because she and i had talked most of the evening, and her shy friend who seemed most intent upon saying goodbye. Back in the party I find the crew assembled and waiting for me so we can all walk home together. We had an agreement that we don't leave anyone stranded, no matter how safe the streets may be, and so begins the long walk home.

The walks are less long though when you have friends around you, it's really just like the party is moving with you. We stopped at a van that was selling food right outside the bar and get hot-dogs. Naturally it's a British hot-dog, so it's really a sausage, burnt to a crisp, on a hoagie roll with ketchup and onions, but it's hot.

Once we return to our house we have a clearly formed notion of how we want to put our house on the map. For three days now there has been segregation between the British houses and the International ones. So we have decided to throw a house party and try to bring them all together for the one thing we all enjoy.

Since nobody is quite ready for bed we find a deck of cards and a few beers and assemble in a kitchen downstairs. The cards are quickly abandoned however, and the beers remain untouched. The talk turns from one subject to another, first jokes and culture, then politics. After so much time spent with just engineers, it was interesting how adamant some people were. We had two MBA's, one Dentistry, 3 Jounalisms and me. Abhirup sits there and looks sleepy while Sagarika argues with Phillip about the problems with the Commonwealth games and the media attention, then about how the media is itself a problem. Discussing the conflict leads to what would be expected, a discussion of the groups themselves. Since there is a Pakistani sitting with us someone wonders what ever caused all the problems. No one from this generation can remember of course, so a suggestion is made for a new peace policy. The two countries should be united, if only so that they can have one unified cricket team. Everyone knows that this wouldn't work, and that they are the minority of thought back home, but it's a nice sentiment, and leads to a laugh.

Soon enough everyone is tired, so we adjourn for the evening with promises to do it again soon, although maybe with less tequila next time.

Now it's morning, we've all awoken, probably due to our fire alarm going off, this morning makes it a hat trick. All of the detectors are immediately outside the bathroom, so if you take a hot shower without the window open, and with the door open, alarms ensue. Perhaps we've already put our house on the map as the place with the stupid foreigners, but as someone noted this morning, it's just our way of getting back at them, "The colonies are here, and they're pissed." From the brighter side of the world, cheers.


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