It wasn't even past lunchtime yet when I got an sms from James, asking whether our cookout plans would push through. I eagerly replied in the affirmative. We then agreed to meet up at 3pm.
At 5pm, his kitchen was still quiet and the only activity that was happening was his fixing of two tall glasses of vodka tonic. (I later found out that the drinks that he had mixed for us were more like "vodka with a hint of tonic" rather than "vodka tonic".)
6pm, we were headed to Staunton's to meet up with his best friend, the beautiful, ever-glowing Tricia for two rounds of drinks. We thought of coming up with a 2-drink limit plan. We didn't intend to get smashed at Staunton's because it was a Wednesday night and we wanted to partake in the free vodka that Volume was rationing its patrons with, from 7-9:30. We were quite successful trying to stick to the plan, until James's movie night commitment was cancelled because Madagascar 2 wasn't showing yet. He called his beau, Chris, to tell him the bad news. And as soon as he got off the phone, we yelled for a pitcher of margarita like prisoners demanding food.
7:30pm, James and I had already transformed from young-and-cosmopolitan to juvenile-slurring-and-obnoxious. 7:30! Our fellow Volume parishioners hadn't even arrived in the area and we have completely lost the ability to walk in a straight line. Somehow, we managed to get to Jashan, now made more famous because of the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand awarded to them, to get our fill of Indian dinner. "So what should I expect from a Michelin-recognized restaurant?", I asked James as we were on the lift.
"Service, food, ambience", he enumerated. He then bolstered his answer impressively, by giving me a 3-minute crash course on the substantial lessons he's learned, quite fast, in less than 2 years of of working in the F&B and hospitality industry.
Few minutes past 8, we were settling our bill. Was Jashan everything Michelin made us to expect? I don't even know. I ordered a plate of dum biryani and a glass of red wine. Until now, that's all I remember: my biryani and my wine. I don't even know which variety of red wine I had. Oh, and yes, I do remember the quotation printed on the drink menu:
the other apologizing for drunkenness."
From Jashan, James and I decided to give another friend of ours a surprise visit. We knew he was recuperating from a flu and that he was sleeping at that very moment. It was the perfect time to show up unannounced at his doorstep, our main objective, being the compelling desire to pester him. We got there after a 10-minute cab ride and as soon as we were let in, James dove into bed. Before I could even warn him to not fall asleep, he dozed off. Few minutes later, I did too.
I opened my eyes from a 30-minute nap to see James recharged and ready to go for a few more rounds. So after a few rounds of Ice Vodka, we left and headed to Volume. We got there past 10. We laughed at the thought that we didn't make it to free vodka, when it was the main goal that we set for the night. But that didn't stop us from having more cosmopolitans and chardonnays at Volume.
...and a beer at Beyrouth, while James munched down his kebab;
...and champagne at Gecko, while I sat and filmed the first performance of James that I had seen in ages;
...and nothings at Propaganda, where James got reunited with the jacket that he didn't even know he had left there in his drunken stupor on New Year's Eve;
...and to Drop where the infamous "Sad!!! Sad!!!" line was delivered;
...and to 711 where I learned the different intensities by which "Dim ar?!" can be said.
At 4am (I think), our rational selves, finally made an apparition and we called it a night.
I was thinking of ending this post with "...and so the night ended with champagne, candles and all that jazz",
but it would be a lie. It sure was a fun, debauched night, but it didn't end happily ever after. Because an hour after we gave an à tout à l'heure peck on each other's cheek, reality set in. I had to run to the bathroom to kiss the porcelain god.
And even more bitter realities the following day, when I woke up with the worst headache that even 2 Excedrins couldn't cure and the most horrible case of hyperacidity I've ever had. Hangover at its peak.