Turning Indian (to the tune of The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese”)
By special guest Samantha ‘Sammers’ Willems; the lovely girlfriend of Jonno Durrant.
After two months in the country, the boys were feeling 90% Indian native. Aesthetically, however, they were coming up short. Jonno’s blond fro and ginger beard combined with Stefan’s bum fluff made them misfits at first glance…and every glance thereafter. Off to the nearest Indian version of Big W (Aussie audience)/Walgreens (all you Americans out there) to solve the challenge. There we found skin lightener aplenty, but failed to locate self tanner lotion to correct the boys’ pasty hue. We settled instead on some dark “pank cake” makeup and (hopefully) temporary hair dye for Jonno’s newly fashioned mullet, courtesy of the back alley Indian barber. After 45 minutes of haggling for “good price” on a wig + moustache combo in the local market, Stefan’s do was set as well.
We then turned Hotel Himalay into Salon Smriti and Sam, teaching the boys how to apply mascara and eye liner (the latter which Stefan has still failed to remove completely). While Smriti bundled Stefan in his lungi, a.k.a. poor man’s skirt, I helped Jonno into his girl sized, bedazzled kurta (tunic). Coloring their chest hair with the last of the remaining hair dye as the finishing touch, we hit the streets of Kolkata.
Twenty minutes into filming Stefan and Jonno’s poor attempts at completing stereotypical Indian activities like carrying insane loads balanced on their heads and male-on-male hand holding, we were interrupted by screams of “WHERE IS YOUR PERMIT?!?! WHERE IS YOUR PERMIT?!?!” The power tripping Indian policeman was not happy that we were documenting his streets. A crowd immediately formed, choosing sides between the frightened foreigners and the Napoleon complex inflected po-po in the shouting match that ensued. Handsome inconspicuously flicked the memory cards to Joel and I, who fled the scene to protect the footage and our criminal records. The rest of the crew was escorted to the police station, welcomed by officers much more amicable than the captor. An hour of paperwork and a few complimentary chai’s later, the criminals managed to avoid another night in jail.
For take two the boys headed back to the craziness called Kolkata; selling chai, hawking sari’s, squatting and starting galore in their Indian garb. After a few hours the makeup lost its match against the Kolkata heat and we retreated to the hotel. 3 bars of soap and a massive scrub later, the boys had lost their Indian sheen but were one step closer to passing as a national.
Until next dress-up,