Statutory Warning: This article contains alcohol, vulgarity and undetermined sexes. You have been warned! Now read dammit!
Thanks to a friend, we had reservations at Absinthe, a nice and posh Southern French and Italian restaurant in downtown San Francisco. The prices did make us catch our breath though. However, the French onion soup was delectable and Porus in a fit of dashing adventurism ordered the Bok Choy as it sounded exotic (Okay, no idea why!).
Mojitos seemed to be the preferred drink of the ladies and though a teetotaler, I threw caution to the wind and ordered one too. My alcoholic pursuits were not to bear fruit as Shaila neatly polished off both her drink and mine and not content with this already significant achievement, we did a fast pull and empty of Pallavi's drink too.
Realizing that the food menu was a little beyond an average person's income, we meandered out of this august French establishment. Well, when you order a miniscule bowl of chick peas and you get charged per chick pea, you know you are over your head.
Our entire evening seemed to be running to a script. We were next asked to go to Sugar, a small bar, a stone's throw from Absinthe. For some reason, I had Shaila's handbag on my shoulder and proceeded to wear her blatantly feminine sunglasses. Word has it that I was a dead ringer for Elton John. But, hey! This is San Francisco! Need I say more?
Sugar turned out be a cozy bar and somehow we garnered the only room in this environment. It did look a bit seedy but most of the ladies were a tad beyond noticing the mundane. Once more, living it up, I decided on a Long Island Iced Tea (LIIT). Mama mia! That sucker hits you like a rock between your eyes!
Random dancing, smoking, drinking ensued and we made merry listening to the atheist (80s?) music. I don't know about most men but I find it incredibly enjoyable to be around sloshed women. And the LIIT was slowly but surely working its magic. Okay, who am I kidding. I was buzzed. As I waited patiently for the bar to stop its lazy spinning, we thought we'll get something to eat. Not sure why, but Sugar is a place which is totally mobile. Everything inside keeps moving in circles. I wonder how the bartenders ever manage to pour their drinks!
Porus, now the man in charge ordered us to go to a Falafel place across the street. As we marched daintily in roughly the direction he had pointed, we realized after about 9 minutes of staring at the restaurant, that it was closed. It's a wonder how people figure this out in a jiffy when sober. Damn the sober people!
Full of the right spirit, we continued to saunter on and entered Marlena's. Bohemian in appearance and with lively music, something seemed odd. More investigation in the inebriated state provided us some succor. The ladies dancing on the little stage were not of the opposite sex. Hammering it home - they were drag queens. Quite nicely dressed I must say. At this point in time, Shaila, already a few notches above the legal limit for being behind a steering wheel, had the brilliant spark. She wanted me to wear the handbag and her glasses.
A man can be piss drunk but when it comes to protecting his manhood, the fuzziness in the surroundings disappear and you suddenly begin to think very sane and rightful thoughts. Essentially, I had no intention of being someone's bitch that night and firmly put my foot down on this proposal. A bit miffed but not beaten by any mean, Shaila marched out and started to call her mother in India. This, while running up and down the streets of San Francisco well past midnight. The remaining members of our ragged party didn't seem to be making any pedal moves so I staggered behind her to ensure she doesn't get into any trouble or worse, get me into trouble.
Some sound practical advice from the mother seemed to activate Shaila further and more rowdiness resulted. Luckily, we found a restaurant still open and bundled everyone inside.
Sudden realization dawned on Porus sometime during the last few events (I was high so can't pinpoint the time) that the last BART train is at 12:15 a.m. How nice!
Anyways, we decided to go to Porus and Yamini's place by a cab. Riding on our good luck, we found a cab with three rows of seats. Unfortunately, the cab driver was a Gujju (I think, but definitely Indian). Unfortunate because of the washerwoman-like lingo emanating from the last row. By now, I don't need to say who. You know who! A choice example was when the walkie talkie spurted out some disembodied voice. The last row had this to offer as a gentle rejoinder "Bhagvaan ke gaand se awaaz aa raha hai".
Gujju bhai's face contorted so much I thought he'd have a seizure. Porus, next to him blissfully slept Guppy Fish like with deep rumbling tones from the under belly. The fun and frolicking continued from the rear woofers with those evergreen numbers from superhit movies like 'Chameli Ki Shaadi' , belted out in surprisingly coordinated megaphonics.
We finally got to our destination without additional excitement and got a good night's sleep.
I say we don't party enough! We need more of these evenings man! Bring it on!
Standard Disclaimer: Ingesting alcohol is amazingly good for your humor and makes the world such a simpler place to live in
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