Since V could disappear off for weeks on end without warning, I have decided that I must create a life of my own, painful as that might be. For me, that generally meets girls night outs.
On Friday, another of my friends’ (who we shall called Hush) husband was out of town so she instituted one. And Hot Korean Friend (HKF) is recently single so she’s been busy on email organizing gatherings.
Hush is always late so I thought it would be safe to nip over to HKF’s drinks first. She is in love with a little place called Annexe, which is right in LKF but on the first floor so sort of intimate while being in a hip location. Best of all, it has outdoor terraced seating for smokers.
I am always amused at how transparent Chinese people are about networking. Part of HKF’s motivations in these dos is to ‘meet interesting people’ and this is a combination of business and pleasure but a couple of her friends plainly stated that they were there to meet me, got out their business cards and proceeded to pitch a story. I had no objection – I’m always open to a story idea but tis funny neverthless to suddenly be courted as if one was important.
Before I could get entrenched, I nipped over to Soho for dinner and drinks with Hush and her girls. She had sent an email to a mix of people but it was just four Indian girls who turned up which was rather candidly pointed out by one of the girls (who I alternate between finding really annoying and just down-to-earth). I don’t see a problem with it just being four Indian girls having dinner but apparently some of us were really looking forward to multi-cultural exchange. Anyway, despite my churning tummy, I sucked up a peach margarita and a plate of quesadillas.
We ended up going down to road and joining another gaggle of girls – including one who recently worked at my newspapre and used to sit just across from me (except I wasn’t there at the time). We had a bit of a bitch – when she heard who my boss was she went ‘You poor thing. I’m so sorry for you’ and then proceeded to get smashed and tell me about her divorce.
Inevitably as any gathering of women alone is, we were magnets for a group of men. Somehow women seem to find their own company amusing but men seldom do. This time the opening line was especially ingenious. “Do you have a blackberry?” a slick East-European looking man asked and then quickly dispensed with any pretence of wanting to “check email”, going on to ask “what are you girls doing here?”
Somehow the conversation shifted to Indian arranged marriages where I am generally the poster girl for Indian modernism. People are always surprised that some of us actually choose our own husbands and want to marry them. The stereotypes prevail.
While all this was going on, my husband was painting the town red in the dens of Wan Chai. It might amaze some people that I am ok with this. I guess it’s probably because though I’m not naive enough to think that V tells me everything that he does, the fact remains that he was back in bed before I was – and before you think it, yes, alone.