"God rest ye, little children;
Let nothing you affright,
For Jesus Christ, your Saviour,
Was born this happy night;
Along the hills of Galilee
The white flocks sleeping lay,
When Christ, the Child of Nazareth,
Was born on Christmas Day."A Christmas Carol by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
This post is a little bit dated seeing that Christmas was... a couple of days ago. I can't help that, lots of stuff has got my teats pinched firmly in their fingers and thumbs these days. Life has been demanding a lot out of me, and I'm trying my best to keep up. What I wouldn't give now to sit idly by the road looking half-interestedly at people scurrying forward with their own little ratty lives? I'd probably do just that if people would just stop kicking dust in my face.
Oh yeah, as I was saying, I went for the Valley View Hotel Annual Christmas Lunch Buffet.
Right, that about summed up my Christmas Day celebration. I did say that this post is going to be short didn't I? I didn't? Whoop Dee Doo.
I thought it was a pretty respectable spread for Rs 500. Every kind of meat is up for gobble - mutton, chicken, fish, lamb, even beef! And if you've been in India as long as I have, you'd know just how hard it is to get a side of steak around these parts. It's not like cows are scarce or anything. They strut about on their hoity-toity hooves all over the place like they are Big Fucking Macs - and cars, buses and trucks would stop in reverence and respect when they cross roads (while I get honked to heck). Damn, it feels good to gloat over them when they are little gravy-covered cubes sitting forlornly on my plate. Who's a big horny animal now, Buttercup?! Mwahahahaha!
And there was turkey too! With good ol' cranberry sauce! How thoughtful!
Reminds me of scene in a Christmas skit where a kid ask his Dad why people eat turkey for Christmas.
"It's Jesus' favourite food, Timmy."
According to Shaki, who was the one that recommended this event to me - the grub list is lousier compared to one in the year before. His complaint was mainly because there were a lot more local delicacies than the more Christmassy sort of nosh. So long as I got my turkey (and dead cow-flesh), I'm plenty happy. And Phoebs was perfectly satisfied eating almost nothing else but her Malabar prawn curry.
That bit of paper there was what we played Lingo on. We figured we needed to kill time in between gorging ourselves silly - so we don't have prolonged periods of quiescent reflection on the sin of gluttony and the evils of indigestion (we must not falter in a buffet!). I initially thought of bringing a chess set but seeing that the last time I played that infernal game was 10 years ago, I thought better of it. And Chinese chess (which I'm heckuva lot better at - which isn't saying very much) is not exactly freely available in the heartland of India, y'know.
I have never lost at Lingo before, and Phoebs was probably the second closest person ever to have almost pawned me. Almost - because I totally crushed her with NAIAD.
Like every self-respecting swanky shindig, they must have some sort of table showpieces for over-zealous diners to gawk at while they are regretting that last slice of plum pudding they downed. They usually use ice sculptures for that. Big ice animals, Greek gods and corporate logos slowing diminishing into an indistinguishable lump is apparently considered pretty classy amongst the patrician circles. Us plebs just care for the stuff we can fit into our mouths.
But the table ornaments that the Valley View people displayed were... kind of quirky,
Maybe I just haven't attended enough buffets, but I've never seen watermelons used this way before. It must be incredibly cost efficient. Eye candy by day. Dessert by night. And from the looks of melon-noggin up there, I'd say some people just couldn't wait for night.
I simply couldn't imagine how the birth of Jesus is connected to pastry alligators but if you're into symbolism...
The Ichthys - or more commonly known as the Jesus Fish or (my personal favourite) the Holy Mackerel - was used by early Christians to represent our divine birthday Boy, for whom this joyeux holiday have been dedicated to. With that said, that big spiky baker's nightmare is sacrilege! I mean, having a croc chomping on a fish - the utter cheek! Time to launch a full-scale crusade on them Valley View Hotel infidels and their false alligator deity! Banzai!
The best part of this year's Christmas day was, of course, Phoebs' Christmas present to me - a whole massive chocolate cake which she baked for me from scratch! What made it so much more sweeter was that she never baked anything in her life before. Considering her inexperience, it still turned out pretty darn swell! Guess what I had for lunch these past two days :D
Chockful of choc,
k0k s3n w4i