The Craziest Fucking Bar I’ve Ever Been To

Mumbai.  It’s my last six hours there, and I have no place to stay.  I’ve purchased my bus ticket for Goa–550 RPS.  It’s too many rupees, but such are the perils of last minute travel planning.  At any rate, I am at Mumbai Central Terminus, with six hours to kill, no one to talk to, and a plan to concoct.

So I go to sit at a bar.

It will be my first alcoholic beverage in India, as Dongri is Muslim and Muslims don’t drink.  Or, if they do drink, they don’t tell white people where they keep the booze hidden.  So I go to a bar, as I’m no longer in Dongri.  The bar is called Lucky Star, as in you can thank your lucky stars, or when you wish upon a star, or whatever.  The name is inapt for a number of reasons, which I will do my best to enumerate below.

1) There are disco lights.  Disco lights at a bar at 2:00 in the afternoon?  Never a good idea.  I do not thank my lucky stars for disco lights at 2:00 in the afternoon.

2) The Foster’s is 120 RPS.  ‘Nuff said.  This is an American price for a beer.

3) There are perhaps five customers in the entire bar.  For every one customer, there is a waiter, who will not stop cleaning ashtrays, even when you don’t want him to.  What you want to say is, “Chill the fuck out with cleaning the fucking ashtrays already, okay, pal?”

4) For every one customer, there are two women–some of them no more than teenagers–dressed scandalously in saris.  The women are not customers.  Walking into the bar, I think to myself, “Whores?”  But it is not a whorehouse, and they are not whores.  It is just a bar.  The craziest fucking bar I’ve ever been to, granted, but ultimately just a bar.  The women, I deduce, are simply eye candy for sexually repressed Indian men.  They apparently get paid in this function.  This is really fucking odd.

5) There is a live band.  This live band cannot, for the life of it, figure out how to work the PA system, which means that when the lead singer’s microphone is not producing painful feedback, his voice is boomy, or too low in the mix, or lacking definition.  It is painful to listen to. Truly, utterly painful.

6) The lead singer, also, cannot sing.

7) Of the five customers in the bar, three of them are drunken idiots.  These drunken idiots, despite being drunk and idiots, are going to make my rich Western ass look bad.  They are going to make it look bad by getting ridiculously drunk and throwing 10 RPS notes up in the air with reckless abandon–tipping perhaps 2000 RPS over the course of the hour that you share the bar with them.

This is going to make me look bad because at the end, when I have milked two beers over the course of three hours, studying Lonely Planet and coming up with a plan of attack for the next several days, I will lay down 60 RPS on a 240 RPS tab.  This is my tip, and for those keeping score at home, it is 25%.  It is, in other words, an extremely generous tip, all things considered.

But it is not generous enough for the craziest fucking bar I’ve ever been to.

The waiter, or one of them, comes over to me and pleads with me for more money.  “No,” I say.  He continues to plead.  “Look, I had two beers, and I tipped you guys 25%.  That’s really fucking generous.”  He signals for the maitre d’ to address the situation at hand.  The maitre d’ comes to me.  I explain:  “The tip isn’t for the girls–I don’t care about the girls, the girls just sat around being unhelpful.  The tip is for the people who brought me beers.  Distribute it among them.”  He tries to explain that I should be more generous.  I say, “Jesus fucking Christ.  Take what you get, and take it gracefully.  You’re not getting another goddamned rupee.”  I am somewhat buzzed, what with not having had a drink in a week, and this buzz makes my language flow a bit more liberally than perhaps I should allow it to.  But he finally relents.  I get up to leave, grabbing my backpack, thrilled by the idea of sitting on the sidewalk for three hours until my bus comes.

At the door, the doormen–two of them–ask me for a tip.  “What for?” I ask.  “Watching door,” they say.

“What the fuck is it with this place?” I say, more to myself than to them.  Then I throw up my hands and laugh.  “Your goddamned tip’s inside.  Go ask them for it.  For crying out loud.”  I walk away, no doubt being shit-talked all the way down the street by the doormen.  But I don’t care.  I truly don’t.  I could not care less about the crazy people at the craziest fucking bar I’ve ever been to.  Not if you paid me.

I sit on the sidewalk for three hours.  Then I get the hell out of Mumbai.

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4 responses to “The Craziest Fucking Bar I’ve Ever Been To

  1. Ahh, but if I paid you, then you might feel obligated to tip more, so win-lose, no?

  2. The question is: did you get The Fear?

  3. None of The Fear. The Anger and The Frustration, though.

  4. Ahahahahaha thats funny sounds like we should open a crazy bar when you get home!

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