Family Electrician

Well, against all odds, I actually got my car. The dealer called me Friday to tell me that I can pick it up at 5:30pm on Saturday. And, surprisingly enough, it actually was there, in all its beauty, ready to get picked up, and so I did. Of course, it quickly turned out that I had bought a piece of crap junk car, just like many Indians had told me. The door handles are pretty flimsy, the doors are close to impossible to lock from the inside, and the gear box is one clunky piece of mechanical engineering gone pretty wrong. And the engine sounds a bit like some badly underpowered 70s Oldsmobile, but I love this car with all its faults.

Sadly, I had to say Good Bye to my wonderful driver. We had developed a very nice relationship, and he turned out to be fantastic. He was pretty sad, but I told him that we will call him, when Ksenia comes back from NYC, because then we’ll need him again. The last couple of weeks, he had sometimes tried to teach me a bit of Hindi, so now I know that sticking your pinky finger into the air means going for a pee. And the main phrase he had learned from us was “a little bit”, because up until recently, he would always say “something something” instead. Whenever I thanked him at the end of the day, he would say “It is my duty, Sir” and laugh – at one point, when he had found me a place to buy TimeOut Mumbai, he actually said “It is my duty, Sir” and laughed like Ernie from Sesame Street, as if he was laughing about that phrase himself, which he probably didn’t. Or maybe he was, I don’t know.

Our maid also seems to be doing ok. Well, she came pretty late twice, and she left some laundry in the dryer instead of taking it out, but I don’t really care. She’s not bad, and I quite like her. Of course, the other day I made a bit of blunder when my landlord came over with his family electrician yet again, and I actually tried to introduce him to my maid. So when I asked him, have you met my maid, he looked at me as if I was out of my mind, and just said “I don’t know, if I did, I don’t remember her face.” Ooops. I guess I had forgotten that in some Indian households the maid never leaves the kitchen and actually sleeps on the kitchen floor.

The landlord by the way is a bit of a character himself. He had lived for a while in NYC, so he’s quite understanding about a number of things. But since our phoneline is still not working, he keeps bringing his electrician in, always repeating the same old and apparently cricially important story that this electrician works exclusively for his family, because it is very hard to find one in India, so he works exclusively for his family. Why the electrician keeps coming back for “full investigation of the problem” (quote my landlord), and nothing actually gets fixed, I don’t know, but that’s a different story. Bottom line is that the walls must be soaked with dampness and mold (the mold is actually showing everywhere on the walls), so the main fuse keeps blowing then and again, and one of the many switch panels is unusable, because turning any of its switches will make the lights go out in the whole apartment. The funny part is always that clearly the landlord is telling the electrician what he needs to do, because apparently the family electrician is not really an electrician. But the two of them keep showing up in my apartment unannounced, seemingly discussing the progress of their full investigation.

The landlord also told me that I can park the car on the little parking lot that’s part of the apartment building. There’s really not enough space for the six or seven cars standing around, so I asked him, how does it work, and whether it’s on a first come first serve basis, or what? He assured me, no problem, I can park, there are no designated parking spots. So when I tried, the watchman makes a few wild gestures, so I understand I should park on the other side of the building. Now, there is a very small elderly’s home in the ground floor of the building, so as soon as I park there, some young modern chap comes up to me telling me in a very important sounding tone that that parking space is reserved for the doctor. Of course, the doctor doesn’t live there, he just works there, if that. He probably just shows up then and again, because the home is pretty small, the size of my apartment. Anyways, but the parking space is for the doctor, very important. I am not in the mood to get into an argument with either the landlord or the neighbors, so I guess I will be parking on the street, which should be fine.

In other news, I finally found a very cool little club that’s the way little clubs should be like. It’s in a stinky little hotel that looks like it had seen better times. The club was nice and very laid back, people obviously just wanted to dance, so there were no posers, macho guys, or bimbos, like there are in so many clubs in any city you go. The music was pretty good as well, so I guess I will be going back there some time.

Oh, and very funny, I find, is this

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