Friday, February 11, 2005

When It Absolutely Positively Has to Get There Overnight

It's day seven in Pune. Still no package. No camera, no warranty, no little canister of wasabi.

Yesterday I got to a "whoohoo!" level of excitement because online tracking showed the long-awaited package had reached Mumbai at 8:10am. Mumbai is three and a half hours from Pune. Surely the package would arrive before evening and I would be free to make arrangements to go somewhere else.

Twenty-eight hours later, still no sign of Fed Ex. What are they doing? Playing cricket? If so this could take weeks...

In the meantime, I've settled into a routine here in Pune. Get up, ask for a bucket of hot water, wait an hour, take a bucket bath. Wash the allergens away. Go to Cafe Mahanaaz and have scrambled eggs (why are cooked eggs in India always white instead of yellow?), toast with salty butter, and a cup of chai. If the electricity is on, head to Jet Net and check to see where the package is today. Weave through manic traffic back to refuge at the Grand Hotel and Beer Bar. Read on the stoop and watch the birds fly around. Nap off sinus headache. Find a place for dinner. Go to bed and sweat out the fever.

Don't worry, Mom. I don't need a doctor, just some Japanese horseradish.

I made a dog friend. Despite promises to Mr. Jones, India guru, not to give in to the temptation to pet any dogs or cats while in India (saliva, rabies), this fat dog is irresistible. It's kind of white, kind of grey with a stub of a tail that wiggles furiously when it sees someone that might be friendly. There is no licking. We sit together on the steps to my room, reading and watching the other dogs come and go. I go inside when the mosquitoes emerge. My dog friend runs off anytime there is a cat to chase. It's a fickle relationship.

If there was a Japanese restaurant in town all this waiting would be a lot more pleasurable. My head would be put right with a big dollop of wasabi. Best cure for sinus unhappiness in the world. Maybe today. And maybe tomorrow, fingers crossed, I'll be on the bus to Goa. After a visit to the sightseeing hotspots of Pune...

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Chris is having much more dire misadventures. Pobrecito! Cuidate mucho...


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