Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Random Thoughts While Killing Time

My hair grows like a weed. This fact isn't normally at the top of my 'share with others' list but I have to mention it because I'm approaching afro stage. We always knew this was a possibility and even took the precaution of a visit to my hairdresser a mere day before our departure to Mumbai. As we enter the uncharted waters of week four and I'm Code Orange for excessive hair, I have to confront one of two options - let it approach comical proportions, only minorly tamed by hair products, or let Shannon grab a pair of scissors and embrace her inner Tabatha Coffey. This decision is further complicated by relationship-bearing overtones. If I go with the 'fro, is it because I have trust issues? If I truly love my wife, particularly on International Women's Day - completely unknown to me until the Mariott Courtyard slipped a card, addressed to my wife, under the door - shouldn't I throw caution to the wind and let her untrained hand give it a go? Me and my mane will sleep on it.

Today we'll be ordering Domino's for dinner. The store's only a three minute walk from the hotel but, as you read in an earlier post, that walk takes one via time warp into an earlier age that screams pizza delivery. The trick is communicating what we want over the phone. Look, we're in India. The fact that most locals speak English at all is such a blessing for an outsider that I remain quite humble and patient in my communications. Nevertheless, I confess to a slight bit of frustration when trying to get past the accent. (Yes, they have the accent - not me!) If I could communicate with Domino's by written word, Shannon and I would be golden. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
  • Restaurant - "Domino's pizza. [something something] you?
  • Geoff - "Yes, I'm at the Marriott Courtyard right down the street. I like to order a pizza for delivery, please."
  • Restaurant - "[something] [something]" that I think sounds like "Small or large?"
  • Geoff - "What? Sorry. I'm at the Marriott Courtyard."
  • Restaurant - "Marriott? Ok. Delivery?"
  • Geoff - "Yes. I'd like one large pizza, half cheese and half sausage."
  • Restaurant - "Two large sausage pizzas with cheese."
  • Geoff - "Yes. Absolutely. That's it."
Mind you. The person on the phone is speaking perfectly correct English. I just can't weed through the accent, apparently no better than they can weed through mine.

We're timing our food order so it arrives just as we finish feeding Archer. This process takes about 45 minutes to an hour between waking him up - he almost never wakes himself - changing his diaper, delivering between 3 and 4 ounces of formula, and playing/cuddling with him until he's ready to drop off for another nap. Every step is an absolute joy and characterized by some overly cute maneuver that just floors us. For example, he's got this very rapid 'angry fish caught on a hook' head shaking maneuver - it must be some sort of rooting instinct - when the bottle first goes in his mouth and it makes us laugh every single time. The burps - adorable. The gas - endearing. Those gummy cries - how can you not hug him? Right now Shannon's doing a little Jazzercise with Archer, pumping his legs back and forth. He's this little beeping, grunting and gasping squeeze toy in the midst of a king-size bed that's burrowed his way into our hearts.

Shannon and I are very much an eat-dinner-with-tv-on couple. I think it comes from being married late in life - both of us were in our mid to late thirties and thus had our fair share of home alone meals. Mumbai is no different but this presents a problem. We've already talked about the limited tv options and how frustrating the Web can be. I've managed to make Amazon Instant Video tolerable but we still default to the potluck randomness of India tv. Sometimes we get lucky with quality like Black Hawk Down. Other times we're lucky if Kenya has extended it's innings performance into the ninth hour of it's Cricket World Cup match. On the list of things Shannon and I have learned about India is the fact that there are only five commercials on tv in any given week. You name the commercial, we've seen it about 183 times. You may have wondered why during both trips Shannon and I settle upon a favorite tv ad. It's because there's so few to choose from and so many repetitive viewings that you can't help but enjoy some rarity and despise most. The Mute button on our remote is about to fall off and the inane tunes from a couple of particularly annoying commercials are plaguing us in our sleep. We practically welcome Archer's whimpers.

Time to call Domino's. I'm hopeful that with a couple more orders I'll be able to keep things really simple. "Hi, it's Geoff. The usual please!"


  1. You guys are really going off the deep end! Can't imagine being away from home that long especially in a country so foreign to us. You guys are really troupers though & keep saying to yourself "It's almost over", which it is. Thanks for the new pics of Archer & we really need to have a picture of Geoff with his Afro!! Hope the pizza was worth it. Luv Ron & Nancy

  2. We had the same problem with Domino's too! Try having someone from the front desk of your hotel call for you. We did and it worked like a charm. Hopefully you won't be there too much longer.

    xo, Tracy, Brett and LIla

  3. 2 pieces of wisdom from USA: any pizza is better than no pizza and never let your wife cut your hair. You like being married, right? What if she cuts it wrong? You can't tell her b/c she's your wife, and Shannon, so she's not wrong (LOL, you know I love you, but trying to avoid WWIII here!) Seriously, pics of Archer are a HUGE deal! Better edit that t-shirt. I totally understand the TV on thing! At any given time, multiple TVs are on in my house. Too bad not all kid stations are HD b/c Cami gets the 50 inch plasma. The noise is comforting. For multitasking folks like me and your wife, the noise is like wine....relaxation...hopefully you can find good wine in India. It makes the time pass. You are too cute with your posts! Love how you savor every fart/nuzzle/smile/feeding. The joy of being a parent is so insanely intoxicating.

  4. Love the pictures - he is just so cute! I'd say that little Archer is a pretty good mix of both of his parents!

    Don't worry - our conversations with Dominos sound the exact same way here in the U.S. :)

  5. These pics are great ... he really is pretty damn adorable!