Lately I discovered my ability to use time effectively when stranded in an airport for 5 hours.
1. I took the escalator up and down (maybe 10 times) till I got a call in my cell phone from Pi asking me not to come back and sit next to him. ‘Act as if you don’t know me.’ That’s easy considering I just found out he flunked in English while in 3rd grade. Makes me worry about the other things he has managed to keep away from me just to get married.
2. Went into a watch store and tried all the available watches on display. The fact that I left my own watch hanging there somewhere shouldn’t deter you from trying this. Along the same line, I tried all the creams in Body Shop till I passed out due to overpowering stench.
3. Next, I spent some time in the bathroom making sure the lipstick I smeared in Body Shop didn’t look like I kissed a leaking drainage pipe. Actually going to the loo almost made me miss a flight in Amsterdam once. Flash back- When my turn came to use the booth, there were probably dozen ladies waiting (cross-legged) for me to be done and get out soon. Doing part wasn’t hard. Getting out was coz I couldn’t find the freaking flush, try as hard as I may. In a 3X 3 space, I searched every potential hiding place. I did jumping jacks thinking there might be some motion activated sensor…but nothing at all. It just wouldn’t flush. I spent close to half hour in panic when I heard some rude knocks from people convinced that I decided to change my address to this loo. Finally I decided to brave the crowd and explain situation and forbid them from going inside. When I opened the door, I heard the flush behind me. Who the heck invents these things?!!!
4. I talked to random people hoping they are either dentists or tailors staying very close to me in Chicago so I can use their services. Most of the times they turn out to be people stressed out about the delay in flight. So they stress me out too.
We finally reached Chicago at midnight, stressed and tired. The last thing you want to deal with is an over-friendly cab driver with a Russian accent who feels he is required to make conversation to get paid.
Cabbie: Ho Ho Ho! (might be moonlighting for Santa Claus when it is December in these parts) Wherzzz arzz you comeen from? (that’s not the drinks, but thick accent) Izzz zoo colzz ouzzz heeya , wozz zooo zzooo? (It’s so cold out here, what to do?) Ho ho ho!
From now on, I will give you translated version (or whatever of it I gathered). The preview was for you to realize how irritating it was when all I heard was a buzz and heckling laughter at the end of every sentence, graciously sprinkled with ‘what to do’ and ‘you know’.
Pi: Pittsburgh. The weather was great there.
Cabbie: Why come back here? Stay there only. (Remember to add 'Ho ho ho' after every sentence and ‘What to do’)
Pi (polite laugh)
Cabbie: What do you do Miss, other than spend all his money?
Me: (his money? What the heck?!) Ahh, I nag him too.
Cabbie: Of course, of course. Must tell you joke about women, pardon me , what to do… (some MCP joke for which Pi laughed politely again)
Cabbie: Lizzzzin to this joke….(something about horse and George Bush)
Pi (polite laugh)
Cabbie: I am sorry. I should put music but I am bothering you with my chatter.
Me (music to my ears. I nod furiously. Yes! music music)
Cabbie: This joke was so funny, so funny that a bartender gave me free beer when I told him this (tells another joke about something only Pi understood as he laughed politely again.)
Me wondered if bar tender’s idea was to get him piss drunk so he could pass out on the floor quickly.
Me: O Cabbie, what about the music?
Cabbie: She didn’t understand my joke and hence couldn’t take the insult. Ho ho ho! I know you will ask your husband in the night to explain all the jokes and next time I meet you , maybe you will laugh.. ho ho ho! (Goes on to tell another joke)
I was quite mad by now. Pi was chilling out and laughing at the right moments. Must ask Pi if some cabbie had scarred him in childhood. Why was he feeling so obligated to humor him? Someone tell him that this guy is not his Father-in-Law.
Me: Ok, tell me some interesting jokes about your passengers. Oh, but you may not have any because you don’t even let them talk. Ho ho ho!
Cabbie (to Pi): She talks too much. How do you deal with her? She is saying I don’t let her talk. My God. What to do! You know women are like that only. My wife…(another joke)
I kept mum for the rest of the journey to preserve my sanity and conserve enough energy to get home and stagger to the bed.
Pi: That’s our building.
Cabbie (pulling over): Ok fine, I will trust you Mister. If she had said it, I would not have stopped here.
Pi pulled out some money for the cabbie as we got out.
In the elevator,
Me: Why did you have to give him such a huge tip? I have a freaking headache because of that nut.
Pi: I was impressed. He was the only one who could keep you quiet for sometime, insult you and not get slapped.