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Round midnight on Sunday, the 24th of Ocober

I just finished splicing a new phone cable into Indian telecom. Now I'm writing. I've decided to use Word and to use capital letters at the beginnings of my sentences. Word wants to do it and I don't have to do any extra work so I'll keep the caps. Is there an official net slang for not using caps in email? Lots of people do it. Ami and Brian are sleeping here in the room and I'm typing in the dark. Neutral Milk Hotel is MP3-ing in my ears.

I gave myself something to write home about last night but I can't remember what it was. I got into Bombay around 11pm on Saturday and whoa, the place's been fixed up. It's a real airport now – with lights, places to sit down, drinking water, toilets and air conditioning. All things I wish it had last time I was here. One thing it didn't have this time that it did last was a long immigration line. I give it an "A". Brian was waiting in a huge crowd of Indians at the arrivals gate and I floated atop my luggage "trolley" down the narrow, thronged, police barricaded corridor.

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So we're driving home and Brian lets me know that he knows about a party. A simply fabulous party. But we're not invited and we'll have to crash it. Hmm. Sounds familiar. It's the party for the Bombay Times, a sorta Sunday pull-out section that does articles that you ordinarily wouldn't spend your busy weekday time on. It's at the Taj (the ritziest hotel in India) where Brian works so he thinks we can sneak in. We stop by the apartment and I give him all the crap I brought over for him which happened to include a Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera. After a while we head down to the Taj and I bring the Nikon with us. It's around 2:30 in the morning and walk up the marble steps into the bright lights and sleek swingin' Indians. Brian leads us through the kitchen (Ami tiptoeing through the puddles of sludge in her high heels) and we bust out on to the dance floor through the servants entrance. A guard made a weak attempt to grab Brian but BriBri is kinda unstoppable and we skated on in.

By the way, I now wish I'd packed my skateboard. If any of you are coming, could you bring it? The blacktop is gorgeous here. I thought it would be all ripped up in places and lots of rocks and stuff but it's looking positively glassy. I wanna bust mad powerslides in a crowded side street and then order a masala dosa.

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Party: yes, to the bar. I don't want to look around too much. It's best to shield your eyes when you're only a couple hours off the plane and faced with such a scene. I get a Limca and vodka and I see my first model — then another. Then some normal people. Then another model. Some of them are friends with Brian and Ami. This is obviously the peak of young Indian society. 15 million people in Bombay. The party is pretty big. I'd say bout 500 people or something. I'm too tired to dance but I start snapping pictures. Of course, the LCD on the camera has that "Polaroid effect" of energizing a party. I shoulda bought the mini Polaroid that you can get in Japan. It does Polaroid's that are about 1 inch by 1.5 inches. They also have those mini-sticker cameras that have little thermal printers in them. You know, like the kiosks in Japantown that make those stickers people put everywhere.

Mucho techno music playing, Indians are dressed to the nines. There's banquet rooms filled with deserts, there's Neo-Corinthian-columned halls with women lounging in evening gowns. We keep hearing that the food is marvelous so we head to the kitchen. Tonight is kind of special because we're eating IN the kitchen. The guests are led through while the crew stands there and tries to cope with their presence. Ami wanted me to take a picture of an ex-movie star for her mag but I couldn't get the proper paparazzi position. The food is spectacular, especially the shrimp that tasted like a funny kind of ceviche. They were resting in a bed of little pink pods that were what you'd get if you took apart a grapefruit very painstakingly, one little nodule at a time. I guess we stayed till 4 or 5.

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It was Sunday today. We shopped for bangles at the bangle stands. Got tons (they're 1 rupee a piece) and I will send them home soon. The pictures we took of this are pretty cool. We used the Nikon to make a panorama of the lighted stalls. We strolled down junk lane after that. It starts off with hardware stuff (every single thing in the store is brown or rust colored. I'm not kidding) and continues into more areas of the exclusively male domain. They were a lot like the street-junk sales in SF. Random crap lying on the ground like sunglasses, clocks, car amplifiers, Atari 2600, wait, Atari 2600? Yeah, and at more than a few places. And what, old medium format folding cameras from the 50's? Yes, right up my alley this alley is. Ami gets tired of watching Brian and I pick up one nasty piece of junk after another and discuss what it would be "good for" or how it's almost but not quite perfectly right.

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So tired now, nodding off. That last nod was a bad one – snapped my head back when I woke up. Don't know if I'm jet-lagged. Must be. In SF, I was staying up until 6am and eating breakfast at 4 in the afternoon for a while before I left. (that's just the way it worked out. I didn't try to do that.) The plane ride is so long to get over here that you actually forget what it feels like to be normal and you already feel so crappy when you show up that jet-lag is an improvement and the regimen of regular old "day–night–day–night" is a piece of cake.

The current plan is to get a bunch of old TV's, some film projectors, VCR's, Atari's (of course) and all the freaky old media we can get our hands on and do one of those "media onslaught" type shows like the band Galaga that used to be my favorite band in SF. I found old 16mm films, stacks of Hindi-film soundtracks, and faded slides of industrial equipment (pink tractors). We'll DJ crazy stuff and sample (maybe even sing and play) and setup the wall of TV's and Atari's down in front so people can play them and have film loops and slideshows and movies all going at once. Brian warned me that Indians don't go for that retro-nostalgia stuff like Americans do. I can see why they'd have a penchant for the "new and clean" but I still think the Indians will never know what hit them.

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