I've just returned from a two-day trip to Chennai. I'd gone there to get a business visa done.
Now, I hate Chennai, positively detest the place. There's just some vibe there that makes me scrunch up my nose (Or maybe thats just the stench of stale sweat mixed with coconut oil and jasmine gajras that seems the pervade the entire city...at all times), stop breathing, squeeze shut my eyes and just start praying that I can leave that God-forsaken city. And i've just been in the city for a grand total of 2 nights and three days (its like a holiday package from hell).
Well, I can go on about the city, but lets just drop it. I'm sure every city holds a special place in some or the other person's heart. Some people don't like Delhi (its too hot, too many people, traffic is strange..blah blah blah...biff..punch..dishum..you bloody small town freaks would never get Delhi's essense, its soul!). So in the face of strange tastes that weirdos have (not too charitable am I, towards people who don't like Delhi), I choose to take the high road and follow the doctrine of 'live and let live'.
Here's something that (almost) happened at the US consulate. My appointment was for 1215 pm. After the initial formalities, we had to wait in the sweltering heat for nearly three and a half hours! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the US consulate, the picture of punctuality and professionalism. And all of this time was spent on my feet, with no place available to even settle my..er..posterior.
So near the end of the process I was in quite a snarly, nasty mood. And then this conversation ensued:
"Visa Official Guy: So how much is your salary
The Great One- Swap: XX lakhs
VOG: *blinks* er..per annum
GOS: er..rupees..indian rupees
VOG: *chuckle* yeah, it'd be quite useful if it was US dollars, *grin*
GOS: hehe..yeah, if it was USD I wouldn't have to work for Al Quaida anymore.
more pregnant pause..
Don't worry kids I'm not typing this from jail. And I haven't been black listed forever and ever from going to the US. I SOOOO wanted to say that Al Quaida line though..it was on the tip of my tongue. AND it would've been a great comeback wisecrack for making me wait for three and a half hours with no water, and not even any eye-candy-chicks (seriously, Chennai is eye-candy hell. My sympathies to guys living there.), but I bit my tongue. I didn't want to apply again for this visa and go through the entire ordeal again. So I stopped myself at "hehe", and consequentally was told that the visa thing should be done in a couple of days.