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.
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.
Day Twenty-Two: Something that happened in a car.
The world started spinning the moment I stood from my seat.
“Can I stay over at your place?” I asked the guy I just met. He was friends with my friends and I thought he was trustworthy. Cute and trustworthy.
It didn’t help, the short walk to the roadway. Every step felt like a tumble and I begun feeling like my stomach was starting to protest.
It wasn’t the only one. I vaguely remembered one of our companions complaining. He wanted to be with the guy. How did I ever get so lucky?
The cab driver might have had misgivings if he should let us in. His instincts were right, of course, but he still agreed to bring us to Pasig.
I can’t remember what the ride was like, now. It was probably awkward and quiet. I wouldn’t trust myself talking while trying to hold my beer down. The world was hazy and my eyes couldn’t focus.
It happened when the cab was about a hundred meters from the guy’s place, like a bad sitcom sequence. That point where I could have waited just another minute and things would not have been as embarrassing. I threw up.
No one throws up with dignity. One can hope that he can at least open the cab window and let puke fall out to the street. I didn’t do that.
Damn manual car windows. I barfed while the window was still halfway open with some vomit falling on the cab floor. The driver should have listened to his instincts.
At least I didn’t puke on the guy. He wouldn’t have slept with me if I did.
Pedicabs (or, as what is entered in Wikipedia, cycle rickshaws) are tricycles that does not use a motor and are powered by foot. They are very common in many Asian coutries, with various configurations — sometimes with the driver seated in front, at the side, or behind the passengers.
Locally, pedicabs are essentially BMX-type bikes with an attached sidecar, often with a vinyl roof/cover to protect passengers from the rain.
A few months ago, I went to the wake of a co-worker’s father in Caloocan and was surprised at the slight difference in the pedicabs used in that area. They used roadsters, so the bikes were taller with larger wheels.
Of course, that meant a different build for the sidecar as well: larger and inclined so the foot of the passenger are raised slightly higher than the base of their seat, as opposed to the usually flat base of sidecars seen in other places in Metro Manila. Even the roof was different, looking more like a carriage. A row of them gave a romantic impression of early twentieth-century Hong Kong.
Since then, I’ve seen similar pedicabs in Sta Ana, Manila, but not anywhere else. And I’ve yet to try riding one.