Earth Rock Cafe
by Nic Olson
Aizawl Part Two.
Supreme wasn’t the only friend I visited in this fair city. I had a birthday/anniversary party for a friend Daisy with her husband L.B. I spent way too much time with another old friend, Hratchung/Pan, Pan the betelnut man. He took me places I never want to go again, namely stupid girl’s houses and other boring locations. As well as my mother from Aizawl, a red toothed old sports shop owner, who has seen better days. You don’t care about these people, you just want to hear a funny story or clever line about how I was dry heaving out of the opposite end for two nights.
I also made some new friends. Walking down the street at night, a man from a balcony yelled at me, “Foreigner!” I was pretty sure that instantly after this I would be massacred from the back by a group of Mizo teenies ready to steal my passport and eat my flesh. But that didn’t happen. He called me up to his very hip and trendy cafe and gave me some free pop. We talked for a while, then I had to be back at my hotel for the incredibly early curfew. I told him I’d meet him again on the weekend, so I kept my word. I showed up at 7, like he told me to, and he began to give me free food, drinks, massages. This cafe was more like a nightclub, without dancing, than it was a cafe. Loud awful music, discoball, but few scantily clad women. There was a birthday party at the table beside me, and Mizoram being a dry state, there was some illegal drinking going on. At least four bottles of whisky were flying around and a karaoke party began. I just sat at my table, sent some texts (yeah, i got a phone. believe it.) and talked with the cute hostess, Tlungpui/Elaris. I met the Al Capone of India. If Aizawl was his MooseJaw, what would his Chicago have been? Regina?
But being the struggle free man of all men that I am I’d like to say that this trip has been all curry and no ring of fire. All chili and no heartburn. All squatter and no splatter on the ankles. But the beauty of this trip has been followed by a cloud of cynicism and frustration more than ever before, about my life, as well as others. I think I’ve learned more about myself this trip more than ever before, which is maybe why it’s been harder.
Or maybe I’m just thinking up things to complain about because life is too good. Too much good food, friends, weather and everything that it’s becoming too perfect and I want out. Like it’s been in Regina before, just too good so I complain and run away. I’m a complicated man/immature child so it could be either.
What I do know is that tea, nine times daily is in fact necessary, curry three times a day is in fact the best thing on earth, and if you’ve been to India and didn’t fall deeply in love then you were in the wrong places.
Of the three times I’ve been to Aizawl, this visit would rate at the bottom. Likely because my hotel closed at 9pm so I had to arrive there at 830pm because they actually closed then, so I would go to my room, listen to music alone for hours. This trip had the friends in it, but just not the with the same intensity. Also, being my third trip there, it seemed all too familiar, like being at home. People weren’t that excited to see me, beecause they saw me like three months ago. Places weren’t quite as sweet as they once were, because I tasted them three months ago. But don’t get me wrong, it was, however, an epicly good time that I will hold dear in my soul. Forever…