And so we are back in bangalore, India. Oh, and it seems a pretty creative chief minister and his bunch of yes men have decided to call it "bengaloru" again!! Reverting back to its old nomenclature and everything is pretty patriotic but i am sure the money spend on changing all those sign boards and what not could have been put to better use.
The last few days in colombo went by in a blur of parties, packing and goodbyes. Wednesday we had our goodbye party. To make a long story...oh well it aint too much of a long story really... we had a nice time with a cozy crowd out on our balcony (its more like a big sun deck), the few pictures of which will be uploaded in a day :))) (hey!! we've been on the run jerone!). After getting adequetely saturated on spirits and feasting on some spectacular chicken that nishamini (sanne's boss wife) had made for us, we all piled in to a few cars and headed towards Mount Lavinia beach ( half hour from colombo) for a beach party that was happening there. It promised to be a good do. We reached there around one am or so and the party was in full flow. Great music, yet another groovy drum act and vodka. It was a good way to say bye to all our friends.... who were a little blurry after all that...hehhehe
Thursday was a holiday thankfully. We sorted out a bit of our packing and towards evening went over to the colombo university where the AIESEC crowd was practising for their "diversity concert". The kids at AIESEC are putting up a song and dance show from their various cultures. I had promised to design their brochure for them. We spend some time watching them practice and getting a taste of various cultures from across the world, handed over the brochure and went off to check out an "indian shopping festival" . The festival iteself was a complete let down but i think sanne got an idea of the explosion of color that would assault one in india.
The last day at work was busy as well. Tying up loose ends, closing accounts, handing over some backup of works and i was done for the day. Here is a little secret. I hate goodbyes!!! luckily it wasn't too long drawn out since most of the office was in the boardroom practicing carols for the x mas office party the same night. I sneaked out!
Night we did quite a bit of our packing which proved slightly traumatic for me. You see i get quite attached to things that have been around with me.... like sneakers for eg... or some old t shirts. It's amazing the amount of stuff that you accumulate in a short while...i mean i've been in colombo only for a year and there was so much stuff that was never gonna fit in to my two back packs. So it was simply throw away what wasn't absolutely necessary. Which included quite a few clothes, a few pairs of shoes, some paperbacks and quite a few dvd's. Ouch!! Only good thing was we made it quite a christmas for our maid and the shopkeeper down the road by giving it all away to them. I am sure borella has suddenly become funky with them walking around in diesel shoes and funky clothes!!! :)
At night we had a suprise b'day bash to attend at the AIESEC house for Dasha, a girl from lithuania. Sanne caused quite a commotion showing up in a saree. :) Nice party. Bye bye's again and promises to meet up in goa. At this point we decided to show our faces at the Leo Burnett x'mas party. My colleagues i had sneaked out on was happy to see me again one last time and after a deluge of drinks we all decided to go and say bye bye to Clancy's. That confusing night club we used to frequent the time we were dating. Bye bye's again to the bar boys there and we get a call from Sophie who was next door at another night club, "tabu". The rest of the night, or rather morning was a blur. Oh! and Sanne can dance in a saree!!!! :)))
Off to the airport at 12 noon on sat. Flight was at three past. A quick check in with the lady promising to book our baggage through to bangalore, a little shopping at the dutyfree and a few security checks later ( they were extremely suspicious of the statue Wilma had made for us ;) ) we were airborne. A good flight and we were in a very wet Chennai (the old madras). With a five hour layover looming before us we decided it might be a good idea to take a ride in to chennai town. Now chennai isn't my favourite indian city at all and the last way i wanted to introduce Sanne to india, but since chennai was where Sanne would have done her traineeship before she was curious how it was like. I think she thanked all the gods she knew that she wasnt send here hahahhahha..... it was bloddy wet, grey, cold and the traffic was totally chaotic. But we braved all of this and rode down to "marina" beach where the tsunami had hit as well. A friendly enough driver who insisted on holding an umbrella to keep an embarassed Sanne from getting wet in the drizzle. hehheh...
On our way back the clutch screwed up in the taxi and we had to catch a trishaw (its called autorickshaws or simply auto's for short) and rush to the airport. Since we already had our boarding passes we walked right in. Now for the fun part!!
Ever held up a flight???? WE DID!!!!! FOR TWENTY MINS!!!!! hahhahahahha
Of course it was no fault of ours! For some strange reason the luggage which was checked through from colombo to bangalore wasn't transferred from the international terminal to the domestic. A few mins before boarding time we hear a page asking me to report to the check in counter. Curious i walked over and was told that i would have to go with the airline people to the international terminal and personally sign for the baggage so they can shift the baggage!!! So i run down with them, cross over from the security check gate all the way back to the international customs, being handed over from airline personal to airline personal with a few confusion on the way wheather my "friend" was needed as well. Anyhow finally i got our baggage relieved from the customs and ran back with the trolly and the airline girl back to the domestic terminal and handed it over to a baggage check in personal, went through a security check again and ran up and through the tube to the final checkpoint before boarding where sanne was waiting listening to all that was happening on the walkie talkie, only to be discover that the stupid geek at the security check hadn't stamped wilma's statue!!!!! So back at a sprint with another airline guy through the boarding gates which had been locked and was met halfway by another airline personal who took over the pack and told me to go back and wait and he would get it checked. a few seconds later he screeched back holding the stamped and cleared statue and we walked in to our plane with the entire bunch of passengers, flight attendants and pilot waiting for us!!!!! hahhahahha...... sounds like a movie!!!!!
Even with the mess up i appreciate the people of Jet Airways for making sure we didn't miss our baggage in transit. A short and slightly turbulent flight and we were in bangalore! It was spread out under us like a shimmering sea of gold. Like twinkling lights adorning a christmas tree! :)
We were picked up from the airport by a cab from the office and taken to the guest house. We were welcomed in by our cook/caretaker, Daniel. Lovely appartment. Quite spacious and nicely decorated. After making sure we were settled in daniel bid us good bye after checking with us about breakfast. Shower and we fell asleep. My friend Noel (Anto noval is his name) was supposed to come by, but he was stuck at work but decided to pay us a visit at 2.30 am! :) Sanne was fast asleep by then. I went out for a cup of tea with him and came back and flopped in to the bed!
Sunday morning. Daniel makes us breakfast. Toast, butter, jam, eggs, papaya, fruit juice and coffee. yum! By noon we were dressed and waiting for noel to come by so he sanne could meet my buddy. He arrives with an sms from my creative director that i will need to drop in to the office cause they were pitching on monday for a lifestyle store that is being launched this coming year!
I tell him i'll meet him later at the office and i take sanne for a quick trip through the city. well.... at least the city center. :) She says she likes my city and it reminds her of netherlands. The weather is a pleasant 23 degrees. Then we head back to my office. By about 4 PM. We went back home at 5 AM!!!!!! HAHAHHA..... the whole office was working on the pitch! Quite a welcome back to advertising in india!!! Sanne was a darling and was made to feel quite at home in the office by the rest of the crowd.
So here we are! As promised it's already chaotic!!! :)
Warm wishes to ya all!!! and happy shopping!!!!
peace and love.