Tonight I spent my evening slow dancing with my boyfriend to the Bellamy Brothers, one of my favorite old school country bands, in the country of India, no less. Than I survived the scariest restaurant ever at three a.m. and thanked my blessings that butter chicken would not be my last meal at three a.m.
I never ever said that I was a fantastic dancer but sometimes vodka makes me forget what a crap dancer I am. Like this evening when the enchanting sound of eighties country music tempted me to try the two step. My boyfriend was willing to put up with my pathetic attempts, reminding me,
“It’s a two step” when I tried to
“Do the Amber”in the middle of the song.
Slightly tipsy Amber thought that pleading,
“Can I get 1-2 or maybe 9-5?” would be really funny in her little vodka filled handicappers brain. Even today, dead sober, I don’t think my boyfriend gets why I thought that was so funny.
Of course this was all before we ended up in Shivajinagar the absolute worst area of India at three a.m. eating at a Muslim restaurant where women are generally not allowed. My boyfriend warned me as we were walking in,
“Don’t make eye contact with anyone. Don’t talk to ANYONE” I don’t think we are in Kansas ( or America) anymore. Somehow I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the words,
“These are peaceful Muslims in India”
Peaceful Muslims really? Maybe I have been watching to much Fox News but that seems like an oxymoron. We had just been in Shivajinager three days prior window shopping at Russell Market and it didn’t seem that malicious in the day light hours between the stalls of dead mutton carcasses and the fruit stands selling fresh watermelons, coconuts and mangos.
As we jumped out of our hired car at some un-Godly hour and walked through the shit covered streets near Russel Market (What kind of shit? I really hope it was cow, but I have my doubts) I don’t think I have ever felt so unsafe, ever and we hurried into the crowded even at three a.m. restaurant. We quickly walked up the stairs to the third floor, the area for bigger events which we practically had to ourselves as our group of nine people was pretty large. That was when our waiter showed up, not with menus but with a lot of information. I guess this restaurant (I kept calling it Schwarzenegger although a few days later I found out that the restaurant was actually called Hamzia and Shivajinager is actually the area of Bangalore we were in) does not have menus. My boyfriend ordered a bunch of organs, some Parathas and butter chicken for me and each time he asked for a dish the waiter shook his head no, which actually means yes, in India nod.
India is a very confusing place.
Soon our plates of entrails (High in vitamin A) showed up and our evening at Hamzia Restaurant continued and they were delicious but I have to say my butter chicken was for sure the very best. One of the girls we were with had to cover up her party dress as soon as we walked in (With her boyfriends coat) as we for sure did not fit in at all, and even not looking around I could tell that as a group we really stood out. That is part of being in India; There are just some restaurants that women just do not frequent. It feels like this country is delayed firty years with women rights. When ever we grab a cab the cab driver won’t even acknowledge me.
Outside the restaurant after we destroyed a delicious Muslim cuisine influenced meal, we were completely surrounded by extremely drunk people, street beggars and assaulted by the terrifying smells of the meat and dead putrid fish market, now closed right around the corner from the restaurant.
This is what I get for requesting an off the grid, none tourist experience in India.
Still beats joining the mass of tourists at the Taj Majol!