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20 March 2006

primarily a picture post pertaining to a party

two nights back, we went to a party thrown by some Alstom TAs at a site they are working on just down the road. the invite was given maybe a week or two ago from the offsite Alstom TAs to the Alstom TAs on this site and we were at the bar at the same time so we were invited as well. it was to be a cheese fondue party ('what kind of homos eat fondue' i thought unfairly). so we went and had a REALLY great time. the guys at the other site live in a camp built just outside the gates to their site. it is actually pretty nice. much better than the kazakh camp i stayed in. it's like a small apartment complex complete with swimming pool (we didn't see), tennis courts, gym facility, bar, grocery store, etc. it was almost like being at a house party in the U.S. except we had cheese fondue, and the party consisted of 2 americans, 1 polish-canadian, 2 swiss, 1 dutch-german, and 1 iranian-german. and yeah, only one girl. the store even delivers! franz introduced himself - hi, i'm franz... like hans and franz... but i'm not hans - and then mentioned that he'd ordered some beer and it was on the way. 5 minutes later, and indian delivery boy shows up on a bike with a case of foster's strapped to the back. how frickin' cool is that?

the night started off with foster's beers and preparing the beef they'd arranged from our hotel. the swiss host, mattias (in the pix, he's the male, light blue shirt, full head of hair), made some really nice marinated prawns, and they cut the huge chunk o' beef into pseudo-steaks for grilling along side the veggies in tin foil and swiss sausage with amazing mustard. ah, the simple things you miss. when we got there we were quickly put to work cutting loaves of bread into chunks for the fondue.

emma helped mattias with the cheese fondue which consists of lots of cheese and lots of liquor ('so, THOSE kind of homos', i thought). it took forever for some of the thicker steaks (some were almost 2" thick) to be done. once they were done, everything was put on the table, the fondue was put on the propane heater, and it was time to eat. but first...

with this kind of fondue, it's not about taste, it is about getting drunk. you spear some bread on your fork, and dip it in kirschwasser, or kirsch, which is a cherry brandy (mind you the fondue has ASSLOADS of alcohol in it already), then dip the alcohol-soaked bread into the fondue, then eat. it tasted like ass from all the liquor but it was free liquor and free food, so i dealt with it. maybe this is how the swiss keep warm in the winters. the steaks were wicked tough (pictures below are WELL worth a thousand words at least). all in all it was a good night with a bunch of ex-pats, spending a night getting to know each other, kick back, and enviously congratulating them on getting to leave india at the end of the month.

you've waited long enough, here are the pictures:

get down wit' yo' bad selfhere's our polish-canadian TA breaking it down, and that's his first beer i believe.

tour de france practicehere's our controls TA (the other american), emma, who borrowed the host's bike to take a brief tour of their camp neighborhood.

barbeque fest indian stylehere are the chefs for the evening, franz (swiss), myself (fat), and ali (iranian-german). ali ended up doing most of the barbeque-ing, though they were trying to get me to since i'm "closest to texas". i insisted emma was since she lives in minneapolis (i was right, minneapolis to the closest part of TX ~684 miles, bellaire to the closest part of TX ~856 miles, but i'm still more hillbilly than her).

mmm foodhere's our feast (sans fondue). steak chunks, mouth-watering (oh yeah, even as i type) swiss sausage, and vegetables on the grill.

the party indoorsthis is the Alstom crew from our site and the neighboring site, oh, and emma's head. mattias is just about to partake of some spirited fondue.

more fonduelater in the evening, still eating fondue. mattias is holding up the kirsch you have to dip the bread in. this is mattias, franz (not hans), detleff, and emma.

god damned steak 01this is the steak. it isn't the fault of the cooks at all. it is the quality of the meat. they don't have cows here that just graze. they have water buffalo (i'm guessing that is what the beef is). the water buffalo work and work and work an when they are old, i'm guessing they end up on our grill. this was some TOUGH shite.

god damned beef 02yup, that's me, trying to get a good enough grip to try to tear through that sinew and water buffalo flesh.

god damned beef 03i was at it so long, that detleff had time to get out of his chair and pose for a picture. i'm tearing at that thing like a pit bull and making no progress.

god damned beef 04at this point, i'm continuing part for humorous effect, but i also have no intention of being beat by a piece of meat (yeah detleff got TWO pictures), not even in india.

god damned beef 05SUCCESS!!!! that was tough but worth it. everyone got a laugh and i now need dental work, but water buffalo be damned.

sheeshaand here is ali settling into an after-dinner smoke on the mattias's travel (you can see the packing tape holding it together) sheesha or hookah, depending on the country. we had some apple tobacco. it was a pretty neat experience, and smooth even though i was the super-inexperienced non-smoker trying to figure it out and be cool when i was doing it all wrong.

i'd have to say that's one of the best nights i've had here. sad to see some of those guys go even though we don't work with all of them. emma should be outta here for a 2 week holiday by the end of the week and when she gets back i should get my 2 week holiday, but we will see how that goes. her coverage was supposed to be here last week and can theoretically stay until the end of the month. it was a good morale booster and sorry for all the picks. but i'm POSITIVE my internet connection is worse than yours so uploading was way more painful than you having to download.

btw, i joined myspace, because i was bored. if any of you are on myspace, add me as a friend, i need friends *tear*.


Blogger Paul said...

Good pics. The beard is starting to take shape. Keep it up...

10:12 AM, March 20, 2006  
Anonymous themom said...



5:39 PM, March 20, 2006  

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