All these sartorial choices were questioned when we got there and saw the long line of people waiting to get in all in suits and ties and dresses and high heels and saris. Feeling rather shabby we joined the line and realized that it was there because of some name checking that was happening. Now, we had been reliably informed that normally all you had to do was turn up with your passport/national ID, and you and your ‘accompanying person’ would get it. But this year, for some reason, they went all batshit security mad, and everyone had to be on a list and have an email or a card, etc. We also realized that by ‘accompanying person’ they meant partner. Flamenca promptly declared that I was her husband’s wife and we twiddled our thumbs as we inched closer and closer to the woman in ill-fitting sari who was checking. Flamenca told her that we were on the list but hadn’t received the email. She, obviously, didn’t find us on the list, and then directed us to talk to another woman, who was in a rather better fitting lehenga choli. We milled about waiting for her to see us, and then someone else we know came up and said I don’t have email either. At which point we decided to just walk in. And we did!
As we rounded the corner (the embassy is in this EXQUISITE brit era house like the one that my friend Chica used to live in cos his dad was in the IFS) and ran smack into another line. Wondering what this was, we shuffled along making desultory conversation, with the Spaniards exclaiming that this was excessive and embarrassing I was asked if I was Colombian. Actually I was asked this often that night and I always said yes =D But then I had to say no, cos you know lies and all. Anyway, it turned out that the line was to shake hands with the ambassador, his wife and two more men. It was hilarious.
Eventually released into the huge garden, we fell like wolves upon the Spanish wine and the bits of tortilla, which I was eventually informed were for TASTING ONLY. The wine was exquisite, as always, but the food was terrible. It was mediocre Punjabi food. Ugh.
We knew a lot of people at that party, so we flitted about saying hello and whatnot. I ran into an old professor, who has not changed a bit–I shall say no more to be diplomatic. But the main problem with that party was that it was too damn European! Seriously. All stiff-necked and snooty. Eventually we created a sidebar next to the pool (!!), with Flamenca and Mr Flamenca, their bassist and his wife, me, and a couple that Flamenca inadvertently set up by making them dance at a concert. The Syrian bassist, who looks for some reason like he’s from the secret police, would walk to the bar and say give us a bottle of red and they’d just meekly hand it over. At one point we started getting them in twos! This miniparty was, of course, much fun, with all us hippies having random conversations such as the use of the subjunctive in English etc. That one was sparked by the bassist asking me how long I’d been in India. If I had a dollar…
At one point, the DJ started to play Señorita. And it is hysterical the way nearly half the party just surged onto the dance floor and began to boogie like mad doing fake flamenco. Really. I couldn’t dance for laughing. Then they played chammak challo, which sparked even more hysteria. Then they switched to Spanish music.
The rest of the details of that night escape me, but there were some really bizarre highlights. Flamenca is doing some work with a couple of businessmen, one in his late forties and one in his late sixties. She calls the latter Mick Jagger because she says he’s very youthful in this unnerving way. I dismissed her out of hand, saying there’s no way a sixty-year-old could be hot. And then I met him. Holy Mary mother of Jesus! It is just wrong that a man his age should be that attractive. It didn’t help that he was all superbly dressed and horrible chivalrous and flirty.
Then there is this particular gay man who used to be very thick with us, but got bitchier and bitchier and we decided to ignore him. He was there, and then very drunkenly wanted to bond with both of us. At the end of the night, he was standing at the table with Flamenca, me and the businessmen, and he began to tell us how he wanted to get home really fast because HE WAS GOING TO HAVE SEX WITH HIS HUSBAND! ‘MY HUSBAND HAS SUCH A HUGE COCK AND I LOVE HAVING SEX WITH HIM BIM BAM BOOM!’ We were in shock. Then he said ‘MY HUSBAND HAS GIANT BALLS FILLED WITH SEMEN.’ This was too much for us and we had to run away and giggle frantically.
And then there was the mad auto ride at 2am, all the way back here and the frantic devouring of dosias made form idle batter before collapsing in bed, to wake up the next morning and make strange cat videos with G-Jams.