No diary entry yesterday, as the day didn’t deserve one. The day barely deserved to be called a day, to be honest. As it was Diwali the office was closed, so we worked from home. Unfortunately my work inbox stopped letting me send emails, a problem I could only begin to fix at the office. So I spent the day – the WHOLE day – trying to work and failing miserably, and being miserable generally, and choking on Diwali chocolates which must be at least 70% incense, judging by the taste. Less said about that the better.
An improved day today. I woke up tired as last night I watched ‘Transformers’ on TV, and there were so many adverts it didn’t finish till gone midnight. Does Indian TV have a particularly high number of adverts, or have I just forgotten what TV’s like? Dunno, but trying to interpret the Hindi or Tamil or whatever the advert-people are speaking, according to their facial expressions and the few odd English words sprinkled in, was an entertaining pastime.
Despite the lack of sleep I perked up considerably when waiting for Margaret in the lobby before work, as I remembered my iPod and listened to a couple of songs. Hearing a familiar song in an unfamiliar place is like hearing a friend’s voice unexpectedly over your shoulder. Little memory pieces of all the places you’ve been while listening to that song before come back to you. I spent the five minutes happily surrounded by splinters of home. With that in mind, I put some music on as soon as I got back to my room tonight. Then I remembered I can only write with my own thoughts in the background and switched it off. Somewhat ironic.
We just got back from being wined and dined by another typesetter based in Chennai. We were met by the Vice-Pres (ooh) and the head of copyediting. He was round and elegantly moustachioed, very polite. She was an older woman – maybe mid-fifties – with refreshingly down-to-earth conversation. They seemed to get bored of talking about typesetting quite quickly, and took us out to dinner at another, larger, very glittery hotel of the type you might find in Las Vegas – all ostentatious gold leaf and glass elevators, with mostly British/American guests. Two odd things we laughed about afterwards: the buffet dinner catered for a variety of tastes, and I was appalled to note that the main representative in the ‘Western’ corner was…cauliflower cheese. I defy anyone to come to India and crave the taste of their native land in the form of cauliflower cheese. Seriously. Just don’t. Secondly, the restaurant had its own entertainment in the form of two Polish girls in evening gowns, one playing an electric keyboard and the other a violin, and both singing when the music called for it. Their repertoire was mostly 80s British power ballads, with a few random Disney hits. Did I travel the length of 165540 Olympic swimming pools to listen to the Polish version of ‘A Whole New World’?!