Friday, February 15, 2008

happy birthday to me

I spent my 19th birthday in eastern nepal, my 21st in dresden, germany (a depressing place to reach the legal US drinking age, surrounded by people who recieve beer prenatally to make them stronger) and now I spent my 25th birthday in Calcutta.

I woke up to my first rainfall since the states. That may sound depressing but rain is a welcome change to months of monotous dry heat. The three of us had a nice little day wandering around this city (a city I really like, by the way, much better than dehli and maybe better than mumbai, just a bad rap because of mother theresa who has a book about her accepting donations from third world dictators and other baddies, it's called "the missionary position"). Astrid made us go to a planetarium so I had a nap. Then we wandered into a nice photography opening and rediscovered the human rights film festival we enjoyed so much in Mumbai. The festival has been traveling around the country and we caught up to it here. We saw an excellent movie about the Sri Lankan governmental response to the tsunamis and showed us their clear strategy: make a 100 meter buffer zone from the beach, put all of the displaced people in tents, wait one year, declare the buffer zone to be good tax revenue and zone it for tourism purposes only, sell land to foreign corporations, leave people in tents. Everybody wins! I actually met a guy working with the UN in Sri Lanka and he reported a similar situation.

At the Salvation Army that night, we picked up a fellow Brooklynite backpacking his way around the world and a solid and attractive dyke from England. We find a nice little restaurant/bar with a decent cover band and a singer with jugs the size of my head. Since everybody in the group liked looking at breasts and she liked being admired, we had quite a nice little thing going. After professing my extreme dislike of vodka (a few too many bad nights in college left a nasty mental association), we ordered a round of whisky shots. They, of course, brought giant shots of vodka which I procedded to knock into Brooklyn's lap during one of my utterly fascinating stories (at least, I find them fascinating and who else am I trying to impress).

After they told the waiter about my birthday, I got two renditions of the happy brithday song, a free round of shots, a nice little cake (of course, tessa ate all of it) and most importantly, a big smile from Miss Huge Tracts of Land up front (if Monty Python challenged, see inserted video). The band played some good songs and we really loved an old Filipino man in the corner with his Big Blonde wife as they sat clapping and jumping up and down to the music. A funny little Willy Loman type came to the front with his pretty wife in red sari trimmed with gold and they wowed us with their dancing. Just goes to show, you can't judge by apperances, although that hasn't stopped me from trying.

The last ones to leave at the late hour of 11, we headed next door to the "hottest club in Calcutta". We only had one problem: girls get in free but boys have to pay a hefty cover. Brooklyn didn't have money and I'm too muleheaded (thanks to my dearest mother) to pay for covers. We didn't have time to argue our way out of the cover because a hulking drunk guy started making a scene about something. The man with the stamp in his hand stopped moving to watch the commotion and I took the opportunity to press my hand against the stamp. I showed my stamp to the bouncer and he stopped me from walking by but then he also stopped to watch my savior, Captain DrunkFace McLoudYelling. I brushed by and entered the club with the gentle pride of a job well done.

That's actually about all that happened. We drank (sparingly for price considerations). We danced (badly if we happened to be blonde scientsists). We tried to get the dyke a lady friend (no luck in the land of sexual suppression). We climbed over the Salvation Army gate when no one let us in (they never told us they closed the gate). We got in a disagreement with a man on the street about climbing the gate (lousy busybody). I told him if he didn't like, here's my chin, right here (he didn't swing at it). Tessa puked all night (because of flu and not drinking). I woke up married to a Mormon minister from washington state with a grand vision of the future involving public branding of all sinners (I lost him in the sewers after a three hour chase). End of a good birthday.


david said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David G. said...

Happy Birthday, Lex! Woot!

Goody said...

#1) Happy Birthday. I was trying to think of a more sincere way to say it other than a blog post, but I wasnt sure how much postage to put on a letter to india. Plus you probably wouldn't get it until june anyway.

#2) you're from Lancaster, not Brooklyn. Denying it won't make the amishness go away.

#3) Kurt and I saw Spamalot in Hershey. It was awesome.

Lotz said...

Yes, Spamalot was pretty spectacular. Oh and happy birthday. I've been tuned out of your blog for a while (mostly because I check it and see there are 30 new posts and don't feel like sitting and reading them for an hour).

Trixx said...

What's doing Lex? Still in Kolkatta? This is the brooklynite talking, awesome night until I drank too much while dancing wearing two jackets...

And thank god I didn't have to climb the gate, or you would've found me passed out nearby on the street, haha..

James said...

Happy Birthday, Lex. Your blog is now my only form of entertainment in medical school, so if you don't post anything I have to sit and listen about TB for the 6th time.