Sunday, October 09, 2011

Where My History Begins: A Happy Day (or night) at Cafe Coffee Day 9/23/11

TGIF! I've been jonesing for a tall, hot, dark ......

Cup of coffee....Really, people; what did you think I was going to say? The last cup I had was on the plane from Abu Dhabi to Bombay, and I can't really say it was the best cup of joe that I have had.

We leave the building through employee entrance/exit and run the gauntlet under the trees. Gauntlet you might ask? Why yes, there are birds in the trees. What kind of birds? The pooping on your head kind. They are an ancient species, found world wide. After carefully avoiding being targeted for strategic poop bombing, we move up the sidewalk and what to my wandering eyes do appear? The cutest tannish/yellowish colored dog. Debbie goes into full "Awww" mode. This is Mango, the office dog...Kim had warned me about all the stray dogs and had asked about Mango. He wants some love, but I'm playing coy and we are on a time schedule. Mango stays and we continue to make our way to the road.

To get a more well rounded India experience, we are taking the rickshaws to the coffee shop. Ummm, I've see the way these folks drive. Mental checklist: Will and Beneficiaries set, check. Life insurance policy and beneficiaries set, check. Everything right with the Lord, check. Ok, I'll take a quick trip because it's good to experience new things.

Oh yay! A snap to commemorate my potential final day, er, night in India. Dipesh, me, Palak in a rickshaw and off we go. Dipesh quips something along the lines that I can use the seat belt, but there is no belt. Nice! But hey I am not worried. I've got Dipesh on the right and Palak on the's like having side impact airbag protection, but way better looking! :)

A 60 second ride and we're there! No mishaps...all is good.

Cafe Coffee Day is the Indian version of Starbucks, but 1000 times better. Better coffee, brightly lit, cheerful, cool music playing, less expensive. And a menu...a really large menu with too many selections of hot and cold drinks.

After much agonizing as to what I would like to have: hot? cold? hot? cold? I opt for a hot drink, a Chochino. Little did I realize I'd have have a lovely work of art before me. I could have stared at my drink for much longer than I did, such a pretty flower created with the chocolate sauce which had been placed on the foam. It was nearly too pretty to drink. But I took a picture for posterity's sake, added a packet of sugar and brought the cup of art to my lips.

Foam, chocolate, coffee, sugar. Did I mention chocolate? Sweet, wonderful, hot coffee. A jolt of java pleasure skittering down my spine. Caffeine withdrawals averted. But wait, a whisper in my head. My dad's caution to avoid all milk products while in India. Well blankety blank blank! Thanks, dad's voice in my head. But sometimes, it's good to be disobedient. Sometimes a girl has to be a little naughty and borrow a little trouble. Throwing caution to the wind (and knowing I had more pills to cure the ill than was probably needed)I had my Chochino.

Maybe my toes curling because I am drinking coffee is a tad much, but the slow slide of delicious coffee was really that good. Smooth, warm, tasty, satisfying. Everything that Starbucks could only hope to be. I can have coffee there every day/evening/whatever time it is that we actually work. And the group is having a great time! Coffee, laughter, and lessons on money and language. I learn what a Paise is and how to say "how much?" in Hindi (a valuable lesson since it is a shopping day on Saturday). And then it's time to go back to work...killjoy! Braving oncoming traffic, night time, and scads of people, we walk back to the office. A pleasant albeit humid return.

We make our way back towards the "gauntlet" and what do I see but the cutest white and black, chubby, dog curled in a ball on the sidewalk. Hmm, Mango has been replaced by another. And what does Debbie do? "Awww look at that baby!" Of course, I'm thinking about my Finn-boy and Mollie-girl who have now been kenneled for 5 days. I know they are missing I walk up to the dog, named Vanilla.

Vanilla and Mango, I sense a trend. I ask where Chocolate and Banana are (yes I was a smarta$$) and am skooled on the fact that the dogs are named for their colors. Reeeallly? Are you sure? I mean a tannish yellowish dog named Mango and a white dog named Vanilla? Again, everyone makes me laugh. Personally, I've seen several Chocolates and Bananas and I've only been here since Wednesday.

So sweet Vanilla uncurls itself (I have no idea for gender) and walks right up to me. I am apprehensive to pet because I'm thinking about mange, fleas, infectious animal to human diseases...but since I am being adventurous, I decide to give into temptation. I could love on that dog for hours. What would the gang think if I follow my instincts and sit down on the pavement to play with Vanilla? Its tail and hind end are in full wag as I am scratching under its chin. When I decide to walk off, Dipesh says "It's going to follow". Sure enough, my new friend is trotting after me. Knowing that the relationship could never last, I say, in my alpha dog voice, "stay" and I'm promptly told that saying "stay" isn't going to work...hmmm that is a good point. What if the dog only understands Hindi or Marathi? However, since tone and posture are everything, I think I'll be successful.

Ha! The darnedest thing happens. Vanilla stays. Oh yeah, who is the Dog Whisperer now, baybee?!

Once we get back into the office, all laughs and smiles, I beeline to the restroom to wash my hands. Dog germs successfully averted. It is another good day at the office, made better with coffee, puppies, and great people.


In Russet Shadows said...

It's pretty cool that they have stray dogs. That tells me that Bombay isn't anal and overcontrolling like say, L.A or New York is. But you do. Use sentences. That aren't, sometimes. It drives me batty. :p

Indie67 said...

Well its a horrible problem....sad for me to see. Sorry for making you batty. Didn't realize I would be under the scrutiny of the grammar police. I did my best.