My half-fictitious life part IV

[For those who haven't followed]
Part I
Part II
Part III

Why there shouldn't be any after-parties for smitten ladies

Storming the story through my head doesn’t seem to get me anywhere. What has become fairly obvious is that I have a serious crush on Zent. The kind of crush that leaves you clueless, truly disoriented. That’s quite an accurate description of the state I am in right now. I am standing here at a loss with what to do next, overwhelmed by feelings I never suspected I had. The traitors were hiding in a pop-up box, waiting for their time to spring out. Aaaaargh, how I wish I could silence my heart, even just for a few hours.

 Apparently, I was not the only one who made this mental note about the receptionist being attractive. Ironically enough, Zent sent me on a mission to get this guy’s phone number for him. Oh, I believe I forgot to mention that the reason why I am so ridiculously hopeless about the whole deal is that my crush is gay. Desperately so. I could very well chicken out and tell him some lie (I can think of at least four convincing ones), weren’t it for this stupid sense of loyalty I have. I am perfectly aware that it’s a fool’s errand. I just can’t bring myself to walk away from the reception desk.

 Now that I’m here, I might as well have a bit of fun. I am not in the least drunk but I can easily put on the cute drunken girl act. That normally works pretty well to subdue men, especially in the middle of the night in a deserted hotel lobby. Not that I’ve ever tried, mind you. The thought makes me shine bright inside. That’s a good start, I suppose. On to the game.

 By the time I have gathered my forces for the battle, all but one have disappeared. Needless to say that he’s not the cutie. So much for my drop-dead pick-up line. Ok, stay bubbly, spontaneous, light and seducing. I thus approach the survivor, who has a fascinating row of uneven teeth. Focus, focus. I start chatting to him in the most conventional fashion, generously giving away smiles and winks. To be honest with you, I am itching to go check on those people upstairs but I’ve reached the point of no return. As irony would have it, the three other guys show up to find us awkwardly stretching the conversation. At this point, I can’t hold it anymore. As soon as I catch the eye of the cutie, I am on it, alert and ready to attack.

-          Hey! Can you speak English?

-          Of course! (He has such a delicate smile. I should not let this silence become daunting: he’s naturally wondering what I’m after. Not any English lessons, I’m afraid)

-          Great. Have you seen my friend, the tall blond guy who just walked out of the door a few moments ago?

-          Er, I am not sure. You mean the foreigner?

-          Yes, the handsome foreigner. He’s hot isn’t he?

-          Well…

-          I’m telling you, he’s damn hot. Now, that’s no business of mine, if you will forgive me the expression. See, if he was straight, I would already be all over him but, you know, life’s unfair sometimes. (I sigh, sincerely) Anyway, you’re evidently more to his taste than me so if you want to try your luck, he’d be glad to have your phone number.

-          What…what is this all about?

This doesn’t look good at all. Am I being too blunt? I am so used to all attractive men in this country being either gay or married that I might have forgotten all about decency. Back to the front.

-          Look. Let me put it to you this way. My friend – the handsome guy who was with me – thinks you’re really cute but he’s too shy so he sent me to ask for your phone number.

He gives me one of those incredulous looks, assorted with a grin. Wait a minute…

-          This is for real, I didn’t even make it up! God knows that I would never go around asking a guy’s phone number at 4 am in a hotel unless someone has entrusted me with …

Please, someone rescue me. I sound so awfully drunk and pathetic.

-          Ah. Eh. I…I haven’t got a phone and er…

My Goodness. The guy is blatantly straight. He’s trying to avoid my eyes now. Let’s put an end to his ordeal and mine.

-          Oh, so you’re not gay! It’s ok, these things happen. Well, never mind. I’ll tell my friend that you’re not interested. I’m sure he’ll understand.

I turn to the rest of the group who were overhearing the scene, trying to look busy in a corner. They were spying on us, little scoundrels. By now, they must be convinced that I am either insane or plain pissed so that I can let my hair down a bit. In a tone of confidence, I drop: “Guys, you don’t know what you’re missing. Well, neither do I, but I am dying to”. I was going to add a few spicy comments when the lift saved my long lost face.

 I’m on my way up again, pondering the latest events. My partying mood is declining like a crashing plane.


Next: Superfriends can cook eggs and bacon. I can’t.



My half-fictitious life part III

[For those who haven't followed]
Part I
Part II                               

How to survive a designer’s party at a most chic hotel (almost) without losing face.

 Some would certainly have sold their souls to see my baffled expression when we got to the place. Nobody told me that I was supposed to take out my best ball dress, as if I ever had one. We were headed for the Metropolitan Hotel, mind you. I wonder why I never paid any attention to those who kept warning me that anything can happen in sin city. I am dying to digress to tell you how I once ended up staying over at the province governor’s house wearing a frumpy sweater borrowed from a male friend. That’s another story though and I have to compose myself for this one.

Any way I look at it, I can’t fail to notice how out of place I am in this luxurious setting. I feel like staying downstairs chatting to the receptionists. [mental note: one of them is kind of cute]. Apparently, I am not allowed to stay in my comfort zone. Someone, get me out of here! I thus sheepishly follow our troop, go up to the eleventh floor, walk through the carpeted corridors and knock knock knock. All this sounds like it’s straight out of a dream but I can’t figure out how to wake up so I just try to focus on details. There are silver buttons to the doors. My heels don’t screech because the floor is soft as silk. Thank God some of my friends would look classy even at a Paris fashion show. The room looks like a disaster scene after a nuclear bombing. Girls half-conscious on a sofa (cocaine?), a gluing TV screen over thick smoke, crystal glasses on low-cut tables and this huge staircase obstructing the view. I don’t quite understand what it’s here for. I become suddenly aware of the faint music background that urges me to dance again to shake off the uneasiness. After filling up a glass of champagne, that is. My crush – his name is Zent, by the way – drinks from the bottle and joins me once again in a most sensual setup of a move.

A couple of attempts to socialize soon turn short for obvious lack of coolness on my part. Everybody here seems to be some kind of designer, visual artist, model or just born to be cool, rich and trendy. And oh so pretentious. I seek refuge in the bathroom. I am totally desperate at the situation and too worn-out to think myself a way out of it. I don’t even have any make-up to fix. My hair-style hardly ever looks like anything but that of a messy lioness so there’s not much to expect from there either. How lame is that?

You know what? Screw that, let’s make a brilliant come-back, sparkling all the fire of my eyes. Of course, my change of mood remains unnoticed for most. Zent is out for a while, God knows what he’s up to, and this other guy comes up to me. My inner signal flashes red in a split-second. There’s a panicking alarm ringing up there ‘Stay away, stay away. Dangerously close guy to the right. Probably drunk. Pull back. NOW!’ Too late, I’m so tired that I have almost lost track of time, not to say that I’m hanging in outer space. He’s so close now that our lips are about to join. Our what? Before I have time to come to my senses, it’s done. I’ve just kissed a guy that I don’t know from Adam. Oh my and to think that I’m not even high nor drunk. I can’t bring myself to slap him: he’s too completely pissed and baby-faced for that. I can’t find any other distraction than to reach out to the staircase and pretend to perform some acrobatic moves. In fact I am rather miserably swinging my shame away when Zent – I can tell from the touch – picks me up from behind and carries me around like a trophy. This idiot almost made me lose control. I am on the verge of combustion inside.

 He looks wretched from too much drinking and dancing.

-          I am going home, I think.

-          Are you sure you’ll be ok?

There’s more worry in my voice than I should decently show. I try to shut up this motherly tone of mine. Not with much success, I’m afraid.

-          Yeah. Just dump me in a taxi and I shall sleep through tomorrow.

I have this sudden surge of tenderness for him. I want to run my fingers gently through his hair, to touch the delicate features of his face, to lay my head on his shoulder. I want to do all those cliché romantic things in my own little way. Never mind the decadent atmosphere, I need to capture his look in a bubble. Instead, I just stand up to walk him down to the street.

As I walk back to the hotel, a seemingly endless strain of thoughts runs through. I need to sort all this out, but how? I am still absorbed when I bump into one of the receptionists.


Next: Why there shouldn’t be any after-parties for smitten ladies.


My half-fictitious life part II

[For those who haven't followed: Part I ]

The Eleventh Commandment: Though shalt not pull out wild dance moves with a crush.


My outfit for the night is nothing short of rigorous (I bet I could have come straight from work, just like that *finger clap* Tadaa): black ample shirt down to the knee, white tank top with superposed sort-of-jumper that slightly uncovers part of the shoulder and has holes in the middle – once again, don’t ask me why, I am no fashion designer. I guess it’s because we live in a tropical coutry, na. There you go. Top that up with the usual red glasses and the pen to keep my hair up, and you have a pretty accurate image of what I look like. I don’t normally dress up too much to go out - I might occasionally pull out an emergency dress to see how many people will tell me that I’m cute – but I must admit that I am testing the limits of modesty tonight.

Hop, I show my ID at the door, smile from the bouncers (mental note: probably members of this rare species called a straight man around), hop I’m inside and my friend leaves me to my exploration while he takes off to his own scanning of gayland. As a matter of exploration, I fly to the dance-floor and undulate to the sound of good old soapy pop music. It feels just great. I have completely forgotten that I am exhausted. I am floating. The only shadow at the back of my mind is that my favourite dance partner is missing. He promised he would be there but he is nowhere in sight and he is so tall that I couldn’t possibly have missed him. Yeah, locals are quite diminutive, just like myself. Oh well, he might have tried to call to cancel when my phone battery was already history.

I spot him. He’s here. Am I melting down? No, I’m not, of course I’m not. Shit, I’m already all sweaty from dancing, I must look disgusting. Let’s take it with humour. Fancy meeting a hot world-famous celebrity? *point at my funky sign* No, too tacky. Stop streaming through your head or it’s going to show. Just come up to him and find something. Like, er, great to see you again. Dammit you’ve seen him yesterday, can’t you find something for Goodness sake? Someone touches my shoulder from behind. Whoever it is, they’re obviously trying to attract my attention in the most irreverent manner (did I mention that I can’t stand being touched, except by the right people?). I am boiling inside and being already all red on the face doesn’t help to conceal my irritation. I turn around, ready to do something nasty: a short multiple choice pops up

1. Slap them on the face

2. Pierce their eyes with my nails

3. Kick them in the balls (oh, the low blow :D)

4. Walk away, rolling my hips. Haha, that’s the rudest thing ever.

 Of course, it’s him. My whole mood crumbles down all of a sudden. It’s ugly.

-        -  Hello, dear! I smile. My smile says: ‘You look gorgeous but I am not going to mention it’

-         - Hi. How are you doing? I tried to call you but your phone was down.

-          - Yeah, you know me and my phone don’t always get along too well so I sometimes have to shut him up.

-         - Anyway, I’m glad you’re here. [hehe, what am I supposed to say?] Let me introduce you to some friends of mine.

I forgot all the names after about two seconds but I did smile a lot and tried to show interest. It is not only about being terrible with names, it’s also a case of not being able to focus when some people are around. You know what I mean. Also, I have this instinctive memory that registers every detail but the relevant ones. It’s awfully embarrassing at times. Just picture that: I can remember what people were wearing the day I met them, what they smell like and their favourite language twists but I have no clue about their names most of the time. Names are overrated, I say.

Next thing you know, “I don’t trust you anymore” by whoever is on and he drags me to the dance-floor. Finally. Well, if I was not melting down a few moments ago, now I can’t fool myself anymore. He’s not making things easy for me either, giving me those inflamed looks, twirling me around and picking me up for wild dance moves that would have their rightful place in ‘Grease’. Tune after tune, we dance and sing along. I’ve lost track of time. I just realize that I haven’t had anything to eat in over twenty hours and I had too much coffee before the party. I start feeling all dizzy. The least I can say is that my mind is anything but clear.

 It takes me a few moments to notice that we’re now alone on the dance-floor. I am way too enchanted by the music and the whole atmosphere to feel embarrassed. The room is saturated of all those looks of pure attention. If it gets too intense, I’m going to have to sit down. I never meant to be exposed like that but I try to take it like a stage performance to cool myself down. If only I could find a way to subtly ask him to stop giving me the looks in front of all those people, I would be very grateful. A friend sat at the back winks at me. Oh my God, what’s happening here? Is it me? Me? How did I end up in this shiny club, putting on a dance with the most coveted guy around? Pinch me if I’m dreaming. Didn’t work. Now, we both agree that we should retract back into the darkness of the sofa area. Or at the bar, I am not too picky at this stage.

 I wish there was a ‘beginner’s guide to guys’. I wouldn’t even complain about a special gay edition, for that matter. So there’s some more dancing, swinging and hugging until we decide to move on to the next event. Needless to say that it takes forever to have the whole group agree on where to go, how, why and the likes. We’re now packed in a taxi like sardines in a tin box (as we would say in my colourful French). He’s trying to hold me tight. Joking that I should sit on his lap. Uh oh, I’m not drunk enough for this kind of PDAs. What do I do now?

 Next: How to survive a designer’s party at a most chic hotel without losing face.



Some notes

1. Why is it that whenever I feel most unattractive, guys start checking me out at the mall? Maybe because they come to the mall to check out girls in the first place.

2. It is now a confirmed fact that asian guys with long hair are extremely cute. Not that I would see myself doing anything with them. They're just nice to look at. Plus, their girlfriends are usually equally cute :D

My half-fictitious life in as many episodes as might be

It’s Friday night and I’ve just come back from the trip. One of those trips that take you to the Moon and drop you half-dead as you land back onto ugly reality. I’ve called nobody but two friends to let them know that I am officially back to home-away-from-home, aka sin city.

The first one warmed me up in his typical over-the-top style. ‘Oh dear, I’ve missed you so much! [I had been gone for just about ten days] And so much happened while you were gone!” Then comes a jumbled report of all artistic events, political news and sentimental dramas that can supposedly fit in such a short time. “We have to get together. Now, there’s a party tonight and so and so are coming so you should totally join. Oh and do you remember this graphic designer from Taiwan I introduced you to? Yes, the cutie. Ok, ok not your type but you have to admit that he’s hot. Anyway he rang me up and apparently he’s in for some body-shaking tonight and, AND he’s interested in collaborating with us on our next project. How awesome is that? See, darling you can’t miss out on us tonight. It’s so good to have you back. Of cooooooourse, you can crash at my place.” I positively love him. He has this contaminating enthusiasm that would cheer up the face of depression itself. I’m still not sure whether to bet on that party to help me snap out of post-travelling shock or to call it a night and pass out within the next hour. The latter sounds more reasonable a choice but who said I ever go for the reasonable option?

The second one was no less pleased to catch up but a little more contained. I love him too, maybe more than I should. “Oh dear, you have to tell me all about your trip and in detail! Landscapes, food, guys, music and other picturesque local oddities. When do you want to meet up? Oh I see, no plan is the plan, I should have known. Well, I’ve been doing ok, chilling at home with books and music. The usual thing. I can’t wait to show you this essay about south-east Asia I’ve been reading. Er, sorry to cut this short but I’m off to my private lesson so I guess we’ll talk later. I’ll call you back soon, ok?” This conversation left me with a distinct lump in my tummy and tears about to roll down. I have no idea why. Or rather, I don’t want to think about it.

Let me check my options.

a. Stay at home for a romantic tete-a-tete with ‘Men of mathematics’ (alternatively: this Polish movie I’ve been meaning to watch for ages). Pass out in the middle of a page and dream of stern faces staring at integrals.


b. Meet up with X. X is an ex-crush of mine whom I have gotten over long ago and resurfaced as a dear friend. I don’t know how I have taken to calling him that but it stuck. Chances are that he is interested now that I’ve managed to give up on him. This sounds a bit risky: I’m tired from the trip and yet in a good mood…a mood that might lead me to do things I’m going to regret. Oh temptation. No, I have fresher crushes to attend to these days. Let’s not dwell on an old fantasized flame.


c. Start a caffeine rush and storm out to that party. Yeah, the hell with early nights, I’ll have enough of them when I grow old. Let’s burn the candle by both ends, dress to kill (not that there’s anyone around I could hit on, but hey, a girl has to keep up to her standards), and go out dancing until dawn. That sounds like a plan.


Before I’ve even finished listing my options, I’m already in for the party. It is a pop night so the guests are supposed to dress as superstars. Nothing in my wardrobe seems to match that theme, especially since two third of my clothes are still awaiting a laundry session. I make myself a funky sign that says ‘celebrity’ with an arrow pointing towards me and just pin it to my top with two yellow paper clips. Sorted. Now the ordeal of going through Friday night’s traffic can start. Before I know it, I am sweating my whole body off on the bus. The fan is broken so we’re sitting in an oven. I wonder what kind of miracle it takes for my skin not to melt down by the minute. The kind that keeps me living in a tropical country, I guess. I am grateful for people’s good nature though, because the only thing that can make the situation worse is to hear people moaning. Not only are we stuck in traffic but when the bus finally moves, it doesn’t follow its usual route and several of the passengers have to get off and walk back to catch another one. I am one of them, me and my legendary luck with public transport. I reach my friend’s place to find him raveling about his new home arrangement, my outfit and the general state of affairs. Another hour of fashion-counseling (Some men have issues with shoes, you know) and we’re off to the club.


Next: The Eleventh Commandment: though shalt not pull out wild dance moves with a crush.



A friend once dropped this casual comment about me that triggered some thought in my dormant mind: ‘For you, comfort is a source of discomfort. You’d rather choose suffering, I guess’. This is so true that I can’t help feeling violated.  I seem to always be seeking places and situations that will challenge most of what I thought I knew and sometimes cause utter discomfort. As soon as I start getting familiar with my environment, I feel guilty for having it easy and not being in the process of constantly having to adjust, re-shuffle habits and struggle to communicate. It is almost insane how much I can put up with while I am challenged enough, whereas I can’t take an inch of dissatisfaction when on ‘comfortable’ grounds. I’ll be onboard for anything that sounds like an adventure, go on the road with hardly any money, hitch-hike my way around, stay over with villagers, spend 15 hours sitting by the side of the road after a bus break-down or get smuggled in through unofficial border crossings. All that with an instinctive smile and irresistible good humour. Now, dump me in a lovely hotel where the staff is friendly and English-speaking, where the bathroom is clean and has a shower (as opposed to a water bucket), a bed, a fan and no cockroaches. Let me stay there for a while with enough money to get around easily and afford meals at mid-range restaurants. Leave me standing for a while, sneaking a look through the revolving glass doors and see if I am not boiling inside, dying for my life to get real.



 I like, so I pass on...

Accent: Joke!! You could say that I am a kind of cameleon, mimicking accents as I get by.

Booze: Hmmm, not my cup of tea.

Chore I Hate: Cleaning up the house. I am such a lazy lizard, you have no idea.

Dogs/Cats: I like cats because they're cheeky, and sly.

Essential Electronics: mobile phone...but nothing is that essential that I can't give it away when I am leaving on a travelling spree.

Favorite Perfume/Cologne: Thanks but no thanks. Just shower gel and deodorant for me.

Gold & Silver: If jewels there be, then silver.

Hometown: Rennes, Britanny, France,  Europe,  Earth,  Solar system,  Milky Way. (That was  my idea of American style naming of places)

Insomnia: companion of my days and inspiration for underlined eyes in those misty mornings when the Sun just won't let me flow out.

Kids: my classroom.

Living Arrangements: functional and minimalist.

Most Admired Trait: Smile? YOU tell me.

Neurotic Tendencies: Well. Chronically alienated in rehabilitation phase would do.

Overnight Hospital Stays: Yek. I'd rather not dwell on this one.

Phobia: I cured my dog-phobia. Now on to routine-phobia.

"Why this silence, day after day, night after interminable night. It is like a fog, this silence of yours. First it was a blur on the horizon, the next minute we were in the midst of it, purblind and stumbling, clinging to each other."
(by John Bainville, in "the Sea")

Religion: dropped out of Sunday school.

Siblings:  One younger sister, so pretty and perfect that it has become annoying.

Time I Usually Wake Up: 6 am or any time early in the morning. Mornings, love of my life :D

Unusual Talent: ...............................................................

Vegetable I Refuse To Eat: None. I learnt to admit that anything can be eaten. Ask the Chinese.

Worst Habit: Leaving the house in a mess and not caring in the least until a guest shows up and screams in horror.

X-Rays: Uh? Reminds me of the medical physics course but otherwise, I am not sure what this is supposed to mean.

Yummy Foods I Make: What what what? Me? Make? FOOD?  I'm afraid not. Unless it's a chocolate cake, in which case you won't see any of it. mwaha.

Zodiac Sign: Scorpio.

Phone calls

He called me. Not a friend, not a lover, not a ghost. Him. It's a fuzzy feeling all over me.
Don't know what to think, what to do, how to deal with it.
Breathe in, breathe out. Shaite.

swear words

The other day, I caught myself thinking: “This is as useless as tits on a ball” Yeah, I know. I never swear in any other language than English but here I think my colleagues are seriously rubbing off me. You’ll soon find me speaking military slang in the Indonesian jungle.

I learnt a couple of colourful expressions lately. Do I care to share my guilty discoveries? Might do…if you beg me long enough!