I hardly ever drink any alcohol – not because I don’t like the taste (don’t put a rum and coke, vodka and coke, brandy or white wine in front of me and expect the glass to stay full for long), but because I simply don’t handle hangovers at all well (and I’m usually driving to / from wherever we go).
But I want to tell you about a night to remember (although I don’t remember much about it at all) from February 2003 (8 years before I became a full-time professional Photographer).
I went on a 7 day business trip to install a huge video editing and server system for our client, Canal Plus (a new private TV broadcaster) in Lima, Peru. With nothing much else to do in the evenings, I worked from 7:00 am through to 10:00 pm to install and test our system, and completed the work in just 4 days. This allowed me to hire a car for two days to get out and explore the countryside around Lima (and drive 200 miles along the Pan-American Highway), and “relax” on the beach on my last day.
I wrote “relax” because …. the CEO of the TV station delegated one of the journalists (Eugenia) to take myself (with a few other Engineers from other suppliers) out on our last evening in Lima, to thank us for our excellent work. She was volunteered simply because she spoke more English than anyone else at the station, but at least she was also eating and drinking at her boss’s expense.
Hence Eugenia took us to a posh restaurant on the sea front for dinner, then on to one of the top night clubs afterwards. As some of you know, I don’t dance, but I love listening to good music. When the excellent live band started playing Boyzone and Westlife hits, an unofficial dance-off competition started with the youngsters demonstrating their synchronised dance routines very professionally, whilst I sipped away gently on the local Caipirinhas. They had an amazing selection of flavours, every one tasted even better than the last, so I was in heaven.
At some point after 1:00 am, I decided that I needed to join in with the synchronised dancers. WTF was I thinking ?? I then discovered, as I tried to stand up, that someone had stolen my legs, and I hit the floor hard. Eugenia helped me back up onto my bar stool, and ordered yet another amazing flavour of Caipirinha for me.
The next thing that I remember is the phone by my bedside in the hotel room waking me up when it was ringing at 7:00 am. The voice at the other end asked whether I wanted my laundry ironed, or just delivered to my room now. Laundry – what laundry ?? My dirty clothes are piled up at the bottom of the wardrobe, waiting to be packed into my suitcase just before I check out of the hotel later today. Umm, no, the wardrobe is empty, and but for my underpants, I am naked, so who stole all of my clothes ??
To this day, I have no idea how Eugenia got me across Lima and into my hotel bed (when I couldn’t even stand up in the night club) and arranged for the hotel to wash my laundry (including the clothes that I was wearing that evening) in the middle of the night !!!
After the hotel had brought my clean and ironed clothes back to me, I walked very slowly down to breakfast, then spent my last day in Lima on the beach nursing a very sore head …. and I felt very unwell throughout the long return flight that evening (Lima – Bogota – Paris – Frankfurt) which seemed to take an eternity (a lot longer than the 17 hours that Air France claimed).
The photo below is not of a Caipirinha, but was taken on a Brand Photography shoot for my client (Tresind Restaurant, Dubai) in November 2014.