With a party on Thursday night and ramadan coming up Travis made a bottleshop trip. I left work 20 minutes early to go with him. Felt slightly guilty, but hey, I caught the early bus in this morning, even if it was just to correspond with Arnold about the tunes he was writing for Famous. As far as anyone in the office could see i was the diligent newby out to get ahead.
In line with the daily trend of disappearing roads, the regular route out of the stadium complex was reduced to 30 minutes of bumper to bumper. Travis was dropping his workmate off at a doctor, I didn't know what for, and wasn't going to ask. This girl is the one person I have come across so far (and i must have met at least 100 XX workers so far) who wasn't lovely from the get go get. It was a photocopier incident - my wrong sized paper format was holding up the print queue (typical noob error, I'm still doing it). She was at the printer sighing and moaning when I arrived and suggested something crap and unhelpful. First impression - narky. Again, in the car she didn't radiate warmth, but I was giving her the benefit of the doubt - maybe she was really stressed that day, maybe I just misread the way she spoke to me.
Under her directions we got lost. I tried to be helpful: what street number is it? They don't have street numbers here, duh. Do you remember any landmarks from last time? I just said the name of the restaurant that was opposite. I shut up.
Finally we found the place and dropped her off. We drove off to the bottle shop and Travis said she was under alot of stress, (is she's not normally like that). She was going there to get the results of a CT scan - she thinks she might have a tumour. Oh.
After more driving in traffic (pre-prayer, thankfully, just after prayer in the evening is a killer), and coming across more pulled up roads that existed last week, we made it to the bottle shop. Without my license I had to wait in the foyer, watching the mostly Indian business men go past with their trolleys of scotch and Kingfisher beer. The amount your allowed to buy is pegged to your salary. Apparently the ratio is between a quarter and a third of your total wage! Considering the high wages for executive business people types and the low cost of the alcohol, surely every ex-pat in the country is a soak! I got booze for the bank (a few cases of beer and a bottle of Stoli).
Travis cooks like he talks - all over the shop at a million miles a minute. It's perfect for stage management I'm sure. Its exhausting to witness.
But if anything's going to bring out the best and worst, of everyone, it will be Thursday's party. Kind of feels like Gytha's going away party in my first week in Holland. Getting drunk with people is a great way to get to know them...