#30DayWritingChallenge: A trip I can’t forget. (Mumbai)

Day Twenty-Eight: A trip I can’t forget. (Mumbai)

The only weekend I had when I briefly stayed in Mumbai was nearly ruined when I went drinking on Saturday morning after shift.

There is a good local beer in India called Kingfisher. It comes in two variants: white and red label. Normally, I drank the lighter white label; but on that Saturday, I decided to finally give the red label a try. It was good. Kingfisher was less sweet than Filipino beer like San Miguel Pale Pilsen or Red Horse, but has a nice earthy flavor and little bitterness.

The local beer in India, Kingfisher, comes in huge-ass 650 mL bottles. Single serving.

A photo posted by Jade Tamboon (@antifornicator) on

Kingfisher Red also kicked like a motherfucker.

I was hungover when I woke up that evening, causing me to cancel meeting up one of the team supervisors who invited me over to his place near the sea. That really sucked major ass: the only Saturday I spent in Mumbai and I had to sleep it off. My hangover lasted well into Sunday and I was only able to go out after noon.

It is relatively easy to move around Mumbai.

#30DayWritingChallenge: A friend.

Day Twelve: A friend.

Some of the fondest memories I have of Mumbai were of going out of the office at two in the morning to get a small cup of chai from a street vendor from across the street. Harry was pleased to learn that the Filipino trainer sent to their team liked tea.

And beer. Indians and Filipinos would get along fine as long as there is beer. It helps that the local beer in Mumbai is good and that we have similar habits when it comes to drinking: Drinking is best shared with friends. Drinking is a time to unwind and bond. Food and beer go well together.

Tea breaks and after-work drinking were times for talking about things outside work. And Harry has a lot of stories to share. Life while growing up. Family and children. Music listened to. Fishing. Many of the things I learned about India, I learned from Harry.

Harry Singh

Harry left Sitel on the day I left Mumbai to return to Manila. Like him, I was also about to leave Sitel a few weeks after that training. We were both old timers among the outsourced employees of our account, lasting longer than many of the in-house employees, and many of the managers were reluctant to see us go.

It wasn’t strange that we got along quite well. But it was lucky that I met and worked with him when I did.

#30DayWritingChallenge: A kiss.

Day Six: A kiss.

We both knew it was doomed from the beginning.

She knew I was gay. She went to the gym with my ex. I knew a part of her hoped that I would return her affection. In hindsight, I was toying with her affection, knowing she enjoyed having me around like a boyfriend.

It was one night after her job in Makati. We went drinking and she had more than her usual. As drunk as a payday weekend. She was, by far, not a frail woman; but very drunk women traveling alone are still vulnerable. There was no question that I would accompany her home. I had accompanied her home before.

She knew I haven’t slept with a woman before. We teased each other often of the idea of sleeping together. “Soon,” we told each other in jest. We never had sex.

In that bus ride to Muntinlupa, she sobering up a little. By the time we reached the gate of the village where she lived, she could already walk well enough on her own.

As we often did, we held each other’s hands while walking. Occasionally, I rubbed the tips of my fingers against her trimmed nails. Sometimes she leaned on me and I placed one arm around her waist. We walked slowly and in silence.

A few hundred steps before we reached her house, she asked me to kiss her. I leaned down to her face in the dark street and kissed her for the first time. She kissed deeply and with passion, as fierce as I know how she is as a woman. We kissed until we had to catch our breaths. We started walking a few more steps and then, without prompting, we kissed each other again. We tried to compose ourselves by the time we reached the door of her family’s house.

It was a relief when that pseudo-affair ended, to be honest, when she met her then-future-husband some time after. Soon after they started dating, she would giddily tell me how good he was in bed.

Here’s the thing about kissing a girl: I missed feeling the gentle scratch from growing facial stubble.

#30DayWritingChallenge: My father.

Day Three: My father.

Three habits of my father which drives me nuts.

Washing suede shoes.
Fastidious cleanliness around the house.
Fondness for fish sinigang.

Three musicians my father enjoys which surprised me when I found out.

Yano.
Incubus.
Indigo Girls.

Three places my father visited which, in all likelihood, I might not step foot in during my lifetime.

The Spratlys.
Tawi-tawi.
East Timor.

Three of my father’s signature dishes.

Sauteed pork and tofu with soy sauce.
Kinilaw na dilis.
Laswa.

Three father-son bonding activities my father never taught me.

How to ride a bicycle.
How to play basketball.
How to drink beer.

Three character traits I share with my father.

Introversion.
Emotional dependence on friends.
Anger-driven physical violence.

Papa and Mama.

A day described through unpublished tweets.

Several posts I sent to Tweetitow were not published yesterday and today. I guess their server is swamped again, so it can happen that tweets I sent yesterday will suddenly be published a week from now.

It surprises me, too, how I don’t feel bitter towards couples I see celebrating Valentines.

Must be because of growing older. I’m no longer bothered by some things I used to be bothered with. Seeing people openly displaying their love, not caring who can see, was heartwarming.

I had a late lunch with a friend in Eastwood and we were looking at them happy couples. One in particular were two guys whose elbows kept bumping as they walked close to each other. At one point, one guy was stroking the other’s nape. It was so cute.

Fuck! I accidentally dropped a steel liquor flask on several shot glasses. One glass very nearly fell on the floor! #klutz

I was inside a shop selling collectible memorabilia, waiting for another friend to arrive. I picked a flask covered with cling wrap to see how much it cost. It was somewhat sticking to another cling wrapped flask which I tried to unstick.

One of the flasks fell on the shot glasses displayed below.

“Fuck!” I shouted with horror when I saw that happen. The flask didn’t break anything, but one shot glass was shoved past the edge of the display rack. Good thing I was able to stop it from falling to the floor. Once everything was back in place, I very carefully moved away from that rack.

The liquor flask cost 1500 pesos.

That may have resolved several years of sexual tension. Or it may have not.

This requires a separate post.

My supposed follow-up tweet was: Just because you have the hots for each other doesn’t mean you have to end up as boyfriends. And that’s a good thing.

It’s been ages since I came home this drunk.

I even missed my bus stop and got off at Pasay Road. There were moments during the bus ride when I blacked out a little, I think.

And I woke up with a hangover. That hasn’t happened in a long time.