So, it’s been over a month since I last blogged. WHAT AM I LIKE?!
I think I need to do a bit of a recap on where we last left off.
PREVIOUSLY ON GROW UP TOMORROW
I’d been in Miami for 5 days, recording a 5 live documentary about hurricanes (which you can hear here, by the way) and was about to embark on a colossal 26 hour journey to Mumbai.
Now, I’d like to think that I’m not particularly high maintenance but as I clambered on board my final flight to Mumbai, a sinking feeling descended upon me. The plane looked old. Really old. And as I squeezed into my seat by the window, my fears were confirmed. The seats were so thin that I could feel the metal rungs digging into my back as I sat down. There was rust and dirt encrusted in the cracked chair in front of me. And it was cramped. Really cramped. Bobl bach – was I really to endure this for 15 hours??!!??
Fortunately, the first thing on my agenda was sleep. With flying 9.5 hours into the future (take that, Marty), my sleep plan had already involved getting up early and the next step was to kip for 7 hours, waking up 9:30AM Mumbai time. I usually can’t catch a wink in the air but had acquired some MAGIC PILLS to help knock me out. The doc (geez, where else did you think I’d got them from??!!) had told me that they could take up to an hour and a half to start working so I’d already popped one an hour before whilst sat at the gate. This did send me into a mini-meltdown when I thought ‘oh god what if we get delayed and I just KO here on the seat and they can’t move me and they think I’ve died and then I wake up in a mortuary in the nud’. Fortunately, this did not happen.
My sleep was slightly broken but I’ve never slept that much before so ALL HAIL MAGIC PILLS (they do have a real medical name. Honest).
Next up was the real mission – staying awake. So, flicking on the screen in front of me, I scrolled through the film options. Now, I have nobody but myself to blame about what happened next. NOBODY BUT MYSELF.
I watched Still Alice.
WHAT WAS I THINKING??!!! I CRY AT BRITNEY’S ‘EVERYTIME’ VIDEO FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!!!!
Whilst I cannot deny its brilliance, I was a sodden mess. The girl next to me was definitely pretending to be asleep so that she didn’t have to deal with the primal sound escaping from my mouth (half sob/half wounded eagle). But because she was ‘asleep’, I couldn’t get up to sort myself out. I only had the drink napkin leftover from my curried cauliflower dinner (yum, yum) and that was destroyed within 37 seconds. I ended up taking off my kimono (was trying to look celeb chic, okay) and using the corner to dab my eyes.
Well, it took me about 22 minutes to recover from Still Alice. And after I’d stopped hiccuping, I was ready for the next film. Cinderella? Nah. The Fault In Our Stars – ho ho ho you can’t catch me out that easily. 12 Years a Slave? Ooh, isn’t that the one that won loads of Oscars? Great!
WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME THAT 12 YEARS A SLAVE IS SADNESS, THROWN INTO A WELL OF DESTITUTION AND THEN CRUSHED BY A HAMMER OF ANGUISH?!??
Okay. The clue is in the title. BUT STILL. I had to start on the other corner of my kimono at this point. RIP KIMONO.
I went to brush my teeth and sort myself out at the end and was glad to see I looked like I’d been stung in the face which was basically true since I’d been STUNG by THE WASP OF EMOTION.
I arrived at Mumbai airport and paid £10 for a taxi to drive me across the road to my hotel (“yeah, this guy seems pretty legit”). On arrival at the Hyatt Regency, all the staff were like ‘Welcome Miss Dickenson’ and I was like WOAH this is what it must like to be a CELEB (but without the money). I soon realised that my friend and colleague for the week was loitering in the lobby and had told them of my arrival. MEGA DOWNER.
So this part of my trip was to follow William, who is an etiquette consultant (YES, THAT IS A REAL JOB. I KNOW, RIGHT. LOL) around to find out why there’s such an appetite for British etiquette lessons in both India and China.
As the academy William delivers classes for was underneath our hotel, I didn’t really get to see much of India though there was a restaurant at the opposite hotel that made me eat curry with my hands. Pretty sure my etiquette was on point that evening.
What I can say that the people are INCREDS. So bloody welcoming, I mean, I got invited back 4 times. Someone even asked me to go to an EDM festival in Goa with them.
We also met an Indian ‘socialite’ who had HOLOGRAPHIC BUSINESS CARDS. I nearly lost my shit when she handed it over, mostly because I thought it was a shiny Charizard, but still. New life goals are now in place.
So yes. That’s my account of India. I know, so much cultural detail. I should be a travel blogger.
Next stop – Shanghai!