Monday, February 16, 2009

Those are the Rules -

We've been here over a month, living in Gujarat, a dry state. Did you know Ghandhi was a prohibitionist?

O.k., fine, so we've experimented with living without a few cold ones, except for a single day on the island of Dieu. We've known all along there was a loophole in the alcohol law, that "foreigners" could purchase alcohol licenses if they showed proof of residence, passports, location of identifying scars, etc. This past Saturday, Valentines Day, we decided to exercise the loophole. Incidentally, some radical Hindus attacked openly romantic couples in Delhi that day, shearing heads of the romantically inclined and painting their faces black.

We went to a fancy hotel, the Express, for dinner and to buy from their liquor shop. We got there at nine and the shop was closed, but dinner was very good. They said we could return on Monday, and purchase our license and beverages. Closed Sunday. So we went back today for lunch, bringing our lease as proof of residence, passports, Indian (not US) size passport photos, etc. They couldn't sell us a license because we had been in the country for more than thirty days.
Lunch was very good.

We then got into a rickshaw and went to the office of Prohibition and Excise on Jail Road. The licenses are about $20 apiece, limiting purchases to one case of beer, one bottle of spirits, or one bottle of wine per person, per week. The affable bureaucrat made triplicate copies of everything and we signed them. Oh, and we would have to go to the Bank of India on Tower road to pay for license. Oh, and we would have to return after payment to the Prohibition office . Oh, and we couldn't complete the license today because the superintendent was out. So I will try to complete this tomorrow, but I'm betting it won't work because the apartment is in Wendy's name. Oh, and she's going out of town for a few days to work in a village and she'll need her passport. So if I go on to gamble on completing the license, she'll have to repeat the same set of steps to get her license when she gets back. And there is no way this the end of this story.

The poster above decorates the hallway outside the Prohibition and Excise office.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks for the post! Frustration aside, this is a great story of underhanded bureaucracy holding the line against cultural imperialism and the debaucherous ways of fiendish foreigners.
    Sure to make the froth fermented fun even better in the end. Good Luck!