Monday, April 26, 2010

My Vacation - Part 1 - Africa

(Dear reader,
If you, like most people, like your information neatly packaged in structured, speed-readable communication, the long and short of what follows is that my wife and I set out on an European vacation that was rudely cut short because of the volcano trouble. We decided to redirect to countries broadminded enough to offer citizens of India visas on arrivals (since we didn't want to waste time queuing up outside snotty bureaucratic satraps with bank statements and IT returns). Thus, we landed up in.......Uganda

Also, apologies if I seem uncommunicative but the fact is that Uganda has the feeblest internet in the world. And the missus isn't too keen on me spending hours on the computer, cursing silently at the monitor or pulling my hair out or both, as is my wont when the internet refuses to respond.

So, that's that. The complete executive summary. You don't need to read on, unless you are one of those very few in the world who have nothing else to do)

Life has been whooshing past these past few days.

First it was the proposed get-away. Did I mention it? The missus and I were planning to visit Europe for a long relationship-rebuilding vacation. This has been necessitated by the missus' firm conviction that I love my computer more than I love her. Completely untrue of course. I don't take my computer to dinner or to a movie. Not always anyway. That argument of course did not cut much ice and said vacation was planned in great earnestness and detail. Which Venetian canal to cruise down in gondola with gondoleer singing which Italian love ballad and so on.

But I digress. The said proposed vacation necessitated many subtle strategic moves such as ensuring that my Airtel bills and Icici credit card dues were paid off. They are direct descendants of Gnghis Khan where it comes to tardy settlement of dues, the aforementioned Airtel and ICICI chaps. I have heard that they behead their defaulters and pile up the skulls in neat little heaps outside villages as a deterrent to other potential defaulters. I'm a sentimental kind of guy. I'm very attached to my head, unattractive as it may be to other people. So I pulled out the old cheque book and did the necessary writing. I just don't remember if I dropped it into the box. Guess I'll find out. If they come at me with machetes, it was nice knowing you folks.

Coming back to the res, the next on the list was helping the missus pack our suitcases. This is an enterprise fraught with danger because my darling helpmeet, the apple of my eye, the nuclear reactor of the little submarine of my life, my safe and secure elastic rubber cord in the Great Bungee Jump that is worldly existence, is apt to get a tad ballistic when I can't find my things when she asks for them.

“Get me that striped shirt”

“Er, which striped shirt?”

“The black one, the one I've been telling you about for the last ten minutes”

I found something which answered loosely to that description.

“What is this?”she asked, holding the shirt up like an exterminator holding up a recently exterminated pest. Never a good sign.

“Black striped shirt?” I answered hopefully.

“This color is called 'blue'. These little squares are called checks. Stripes are – Oh, you're hopeless, Naren” and in a marked manner, got up and picked the shirt herself. I swear it wasn't there a moment ago. The missus must be a prestidigitator or something.

She went back to the suitcase.

“Now, please pay attention. AND SHUT THAT COMPUTER.”

And so on. Finally she got the suitcases packed. She'd tucked in an enormous amount of stuff including my wedding suit aka my ticket collector disguise. “Just in case we go to the opera” she told me. I fervently hope we don't. No offense, but opera always sounds like people panicking in song. The missus doesn't care much for the music either, but she likes the spectacle.

“Have you called the cab?”

Thankfully, I had. Having thus saved my marriage by the merest skin of my teeth, we set forth for the Airport.

And to our dismay, were resolutely told by the Emirates people to take a walk. They didn't say that in so many words, of course. They are too well bred for that. But in the round about way so popular with the airline people, they told us that there was a volcano blasting away in Iceland which is why we couldn't fly to Rome, though Rome airport was open, because of back-log problems and they would be happy to refund us our money in due course or reschedule our flight as and when it pleased them.

First, dismay. Then anguish. Then anger (I chose the charged-with-sarcasm route, completely wasted on the rhinoceros hides that airline employees are equipped with). And then the missus, practical as ever, said “Where can I book tickets for some other destination?”....... (contd)


Chuck said...

Hahaha! Looking forward to part 2!

Saranya said...

ROTFL! As always hilarious...waiting for part-2! :)

Saumya said...

I have a feeling guys go through some sort of training to pick the wrong shirt on purpose. They are thereby absolved of further packing duties.

Very funny...waiting for the rest

Anonymous said...

I did not know Uganda gave visas on arrival to Indians :) Which other country does that (other than Thailand) ?

Bea Walker said...

Oh lovely - travel mayhem with Mr & Mrs S! Will look for part 2. About the computer love - I call it my significant other's mistress - now we have a mobile mini mistress in the form of an Iphone! Sigh - a mere woman cannot compete :(.....but if it means we will get part 2, sorry Mrs. S, but please allow Mr. S some alone time with his computer! ;)

Gargi said...

Semi-Regular reader, first-time commenter here. All your posts are funny but today's was howlarious, as they say! Keep it going! Can't wait to read Part 2!

Aruna said...

Waiting eagerly for Par 2,3,4,.........

Sid said...

prestidigitator ....LOL!

Anasthaesium said...

Hi Mr.shenoy... newbie to your blog but liked it a lot. this post is very funny :)..waiting to see how you end up in africa :)

mentalie said...

the customer service industry is full of rhinoceri. it's a new private sector CRM initiative i'm told. and much as i love animals, i'm tempted to shoot each and every one of them!
ps: yes, i'm one of the select few who have no life and always read your epistles to the end. in my defense, errr, umm, uhhh...

Not Specified said...

As always hilarious!!!
I'm one of the few with loads of free time to while away.. your blog is one of my preferred getaways :)

So how was Africa?? Waiting eagerly for more details of your Ugandan sojourn !!

deepak said...

release the second too soon

S said...


Chethana said...

Ha! I was hoping for a Africa vacation post ever since I saw the album on FB. Pliss be uploading part 2 as soon as your creative genius cleans it up with a few finishing touches.

Soundar said...

In memory association tests, most rational men would associate Africa with Zulus, lions and Mt Kilimanjaro, but for me it will always be Kishore Kumar going

"..honeymoon Afreeeka!
Bale bale bale bale ballele
aiko liko aiko liko"
Jhoom machake chodooonga kyonki
meri lottery lag jaane waali hai!"

Anagha said...

Awesome post!! Waiting for part 2.. Hope Mrs. Shenoy gives you some time with the Computer...

Abhishek Bhardwaj said...

Funny post as ever !
Please write ur post more often.
Always eagerly waits for ur posts.
What a turnaround Europe to Africa !
Waiting for the next post !

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the upcoming posts... pls post soon!! Sorry Mrs. Shenoy!!

Drenched said...

Oh, so it was for this cancelled European trip that you were doing a Lido or Moulin Rouge #youchoose kinda poll on Twitter? Sad. I suppose at least in Uganda and other places of Africa you didn't encounter names (of volcanoes or otherwise) which seemed like they'd been named by someone who slept with his head on keyboard. Did you try to stand in the middle of the road and wave an "I heart Idi Amin" banner just to ruffle a few feathers? :D Or are the Ugandans too uptight about it? Pliss to continue the travelogue.

Anonymous said...

b-eau-ti-ful.... :)