(As mentioned in the earlier post, this is a highly jazzed up account of a vacation I am having currently. The high point of the drama, such as it is, is that we were pushed off the flight to Europe and de-conveyed to Africa. Best left unread, of course, unless you are one of the few jobless ones. Like me. BTW, many apologies for not responding to earlier comments. this is because I have but a hairs breadth of internet time.)
Finding another destination of course was not as easy as it seemed. First, we didn't have time (or, in my case the patience) to line up outside some snotty embassy with a truck load of papers and the earnest “Please give me a visa, mister, I promise not to settle in your country or carry on trade or occupation for profit in any manner” expression so important to visa officers. And second, I had a feeling my credit cards were close to maxing themselves, putting de-luxe destinations out of bounds, for long vacations at any rate.
The missus' first choice was Thailand, but it seemed to be going through one of those phases where chaps start throwing bombs at other chaps who, instead of turning the other cheek as recommended by well known world figures, throw bombs right back, escalating the whole ruddy thing. All in all, not conducive to tourism.
My bright suggestion at this stage was Sikkim. Beautiful, unspoiled, easy to get to, economical. This was met with a glowering look. I upped it to Sri Lanka. Ok, so I wanted to minimise cost, but Sri Lanka is a great tourist place. (Its tallest mountain, I am told by my younger son, is Piduruthalagala. He had to study this for Geography which made him very unhappy with the tendency of the local populace to name their mountains in several dozen syllablic words instead of say Bob mountain or Tim mountain. I digress.) This suggestion too was tossed out the window.
“Let's go to Uganda. It has visa on arrival. And we can do some safaris.” suggested Neela, the missus' twin sister who , with her husband Mahesh, were traveling with us. I heaved a sigh of relief. It's a long story but we have a decent base there. House and all. This would be DEFINITELY low cost. Evidently, Mahesh was also thinking along similar lines as me, as I distinctly spotted him heaving sighs of relief of his own. Unanimously passed.
We marched off to the Emirates office on Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore, and did the needful. (we were flying from Bangalore, because Neela and Mahesh live in Mysore and had done all the dirty work of booking tickets etc). Somewhere in the vicinity was a 'fish spa' which is a spa where you put your feet into a fish tank and the fish eat all the dead skin, toenail dirt etc. Your feet come out a lovely pink. What they omit to tell you is that the process is ticklish as hell. I was shoved into the place and assigned a ten minute session. Ten minutes, but it felt like an eternity. My giggling and writhing seemed to offer no end of mirth to the missus and her accomplices (viz sister and brother-in-law).
And the thing is the futility of it all. I mean, compared to, say, aquiline looks or a lean muscular body, pink feet offer little by way of sex appeal. I might be wrong but I really don't see buxom young lasses throwing themselves at you because you have pink feet. But the missus had decreed, so it had to happen.
I shoved my pink feet into my shoes and we hurried on to the airport. The flight was from Bangalore to Dubai, where we got a couple of hours of duty free shopping and thence onward to Entebbe (yes, the famous airport where the Israelis did their 90 minute thing) via Addis Ababa.
The flight was pretty uneventful. The missus spent the entire flight to Dubai sleeping on my shoulder, making me feel like the warm, affectionate caveman that I am. I listened to some music. There is this Bryan Adams' song, the words of which go something like this “Lets make love.. something something.... january to december” I don't know the words, but I have come to the conclusion that it is based on Raag Shuddha Nat. I've done a comparison, which I can make available at request (post it on youtube or something) if you promise to remember that it was done under the influence of alcohol and do not hold it against me if and when I am appointed to high office.
Well, Uganda is beautiful. We spent the evening in Kampala, Uganda's cheerful, laid-back and emerald green capital. I had picked up a bottle of Glenmorangie whiskey (which the missus insists on calling Glen Morarjee) of a decent vintage and I am happy to report that it goes beautifully with Kampala.
The following morning was our trip to a town called Jinja. To read about which you will have to wait a day or two while I sneak the laptop under the bedcovers, away from the sight of the missus, and write out my secret report. This one has been bad enough... I've almost been caught twice. (I pretended to be checking flight availability to Europe.)
Cheers, then. Back soon, hopefully.