B

September 9, 2007

And Here’s to You, Mr and Mrs Parents!

Filed under: Food for thought — B @ 3:37 pm

images1.jpgMy parents are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary today, Sept 9th. Happy Anniversary Natalia and George! And, to drop in a literal translation from my language: TO MANY MORE! ( LA MULTI ANI!)

35 years together, man, that is a long time. They have been together more than I’ve been alive! They are my parents and I am not 35 yet, so it’s normal (doh!) but you get the point: 35 years is a loooong time.

They are happy, beautiful, they do nice things together, they nag at each other, they are a team! And, while I doubt my talent at keeping a relationship going for that long, I think what they have achieved is a great partnership indeed.

So please all send them a positive thought on this beautiful September day!

PS Also, jot down Sept 22nd when this blogger will hit 33. Mum and dad liked their important life changing events to take place in Sept.

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September 6, 2007

Bon apetit!

Filed under: Funny stuff — B @ 11:19 pm

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The time of the day: Friday, 9pm, beginning of the long weekend. Hurrah!

The place: my kitchen, preparing a nice dinner (pasta with salmon and vodka sauce, recipe courtesy of Trevor, Amore’s chef mate from Switzerland)

The conversation: flowing.

Something missing perhaps: why don’t we crack open that bottle of champagne while we are preparing the food?

Agreement. Food smelling promising. Overall atmosphere: very good.

Romantic thought: why don’t we open the champagne together? Make a wish?

The cautious of us: make sure we don’t point it in the direction of anything breakable.

The next step: aim, fire, bull’s eye!

The result: sudden darkness, broken glass noise.

Confusion. The bulb is smashed into the tiniest pieces that find their way to the salmon sauce…

Chance of aiming so well: 1 in hundreds.

Wish we could have rewound and filmed the whole sequence of events.

Laughter: uncontrollable. Still going.

Dinner: not bad.

June 25, 2007

You Look Just Like….

Filed under: Funny stuff — B @ 11:56 pm

We human beings are, I should imagine, a tad more analytical than the rest of the species we share this planet with. Although this is merely an assumption, how would we ever know how analytical cats and dogs are, for example.

As humans’ thirst for knowledge and detail is something I am more familiar with, I’ll focus on one particular trait that I hate to admit I possess. It’s a pattern I easily and critically recognized in others until it dawned on me that I was no better.

What is it? Well, in a nutshell, I compare new acquaintances, colleagues, friends, friends’ partners with those I believe they look like. Not necessarily celebrities, although that makes for an obvious choice. But I will see someone and it’s almost as if my brain is programmed to send keen signals to my memory centre and inquire into whom the new kid in town looks like. Google images have helped a lot in supporting my individual cases.

Over the years I must have seen them all: from Klaus Kinski to Maradonna, Vanessa Paradis to Bono and moving on to an African American DJ at a party who – to me – looked the spitting image of my Italian neighbour upstairs.

It is not something I am proud of, especially when it becomes clear that my comparison is not welcome. Many a times, I’d declare in a victor’s voice that so and so are the spitting image of, say, the girls’ gay friend in Sex and the City. Bingo, got him right there! The look on their face indicates that they’d hoped for more! I’ve been on the receiving end of an unwanted look alike statement and boy, it was no fun. This is not the place to create inaccurate associations in your minds, suffice to say I was once compared to a reputable singer. No, it wasn’t JLo… I listened to the comment, I reasoned that my dignity was being put to the test and smiled it off politely not without a degree of grudge against the “opinion leader” who’d instantly found his nodding supporters. Well, at least she is talented ( which, when it comes to singing, I’m not)…

Nor was it great fun to have this guy in a bar in Spain stare at me with a mix of horror and filial love only to reveal to me that I was the carbon copy of his (now dead) mother. His intake of alcohol and God knows what else that afternoon contributed to the intensity of his feelings I’m sure, but how freaky had it become when the guy started asking me if I remembered how I used to feed him dinner when he was a small child? At this point it’s worth adding that he was quite a bit older than me…

Lesson here being that sometimes silence is indeed gold.

I do have a match in this respect (someone who may not look like me but certainly behaves similarly) and that is my colleague G from work. G will understand my otherwise inexplicable need for associations. He almost has a little ritual: one of our (male) clients has a very distinctive “cool glasses/ funky hairdo” look. To G this particular man looks just like another client of ours, only this time we’re talking about a “she” and she is 30 years older than our guy. And G is no amateur, he will bring accurate supporting proofs of his statements.

I sometimes identify this sport as bullying in others, but I guess the difference with them is that they make light of their often harsh views. I prefer to spare those who need sparing, but nothing is going to stop me from seeing Michael Winner sat in my office day in day out. All he has to do is say the Esure line and my point will be instantly seen by most.

The guilt within having been unleashed, I can go one step further and admit to a very deeply rooted belief in groups of people having their parallel peers in the animal reign. For example, eversince I was a child, I would immediately see the bird, fish, dog, horse in those around me.

This is when anonymity comes in handy otherwise I wouldn’t blame those of you who’d be inclined to call a shrink on me…

Instead, what you could do, is indulge in this deep conversation and reassure me that you, too are into comparing and also that you too see the animal within as an obvious fact of life. Who do you look like or should I say what do you look like?

I can tell those of you I know….

May 27, 2007

Congratulations, Cristian Mungiu (the one on the left)!

Filed under: B recommends — B @ 8:00 pm

I can’t contain my pride, check out the BBC News Online today:

“Romanian drama wins Cannes gold”

Jury head Stephen Frears was on hand to congratulate Mungiu
Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days has won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

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Phantom Affair

Filed under: Food for thought — B @ 11:05 am

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Following on my post on online dating (A Very Brief History of Dating), I have requested and been granted the permission to produce an anonymous case study of where modern day technology has taken our emotions.

A dear friend of mine, let’s call him M, is happily immersed in a relationship with his loveable, intelligent and exotic girlfriend. They’ve been together for a while now and things are looking on the promising side. Lately M has been showing signs of fatigue. He was less tolerant to silly jokes and his time with friends and family (be it on the phone or in person) has been sparse. Not one to leave such developments un-questioned, I took it upon myself to get to the root of the matter. What was going on? The man has a good job, a great partner, he is well liked and suddenly he decides that’s not good enough and sulks. WHY?

Roll on a couple of days later.

The setting: a posh pub in an affluent area of London.

The glasses: filled with velvety red wine.

The mood: tense.

ME: Go on now, M, what is up with you, you can’t fool me.

HIM (replying with a question, which always makes me think of that joke: Is it true that you always answer a question with another? Who told you that?): Is having an online lover cheating?

ME: I could have done with a bit of intro… Is an online lover cheating? Tricky one, my friend. Would you care to expand on the topic?

And expanded is what he did. He’d met this girl online. Hadn’t thought much of it, she was living on the other side of the world and he had actually found her friendliness irritating to begin with. She had seemed at ease with the situation while he was all awkward and confused as to what the point of that friendship was. So didn’t think much of it. It was something to do when he happened to be online, say hello and chat with this person. So far so good. I kept nodding in approval. I even said “Don’t be silly, everybody does that at some point. I had a friend I chatted with occasionally. He had praised my writing, I was prepared to make him a friend for life….”

But why did I think my situation had not led to similar consequences… I was still sane. M was drawn out and confused. He had basically fallen in the trap of the novelty of the situation: conversations became longer and longer, he used every spare moment to run to his computer and see if she was around and before he knew it, they’d become very intimate in those moments oblivious of their respective lives (they both had partners, whom they spoke so fondly about). It had come to a point when he was living this parallel reality, updated on the life of a faceless person on a regular basis, opening up to them, caring about them. Virtual talks, virtual walks, virtual flirting. The only thing “non-virtual” about this was his involvement.

What do you say to that? His girlfriend did not suffer a thing, maybe she put his tiredness down to hard work. He was not planning to meet that other person. He said he felt like he’s jumped on a train that was going nowhere. That sounds scary (although not unlike my tube journeys to work on a bad day).

As a friend I wanted to be non-judgemental. As a woman I got paranoid. What if Amore did the same, how would I feel? Not happy is the answer. But then again, what is it that drives a perfectly decent person to this kind of activities? Questions kept shooting through my head. I couldn’t think of an honest way to help him out. So I asked for some time to think about it, recommending that he took it easy in the meantime. Which depressed him, because I was clearly implying he was doing the wrong thing. But was it the wrong thing?

Here’s an analogy. In the world of film, traditionally rights were sold for TV, VHS, DVD, cinema chains, etc. Then internet came along and rights have been selling for online distribution. Would that mean that cheating has expanded its realms from the world of hotels, parks, his/her house to the all mighty internet?

What is your view on this? IS ONLINE CHEATING – CHEATING? I believe it is.

May 6, 2007

How “Cannes” I Put It in a Few Words?

Filed under: B at work — B @ 1:10 am

THE PREPARATIONS

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For many who work in the film industry or in any field that touches upon it (as is the case with me), May is the month of re-visiting your wardrobe, doing a round of the free trials offered by the gyms in your area, generally the month of a late start of a much needed overhaul. Grey hairs covered – checked. What grey hairs?!? Eyebrows shaped – checked. Removing any sign of your ever being in touch with your masculine side, basically your slight “mustache” – checked. A facial while you’re at it, why not? That still leaves the big W: your wardrobe.

In case you wonder why May, well, that is when everybody who’s anybody in the world behind and in front of the camera heads to the Cannes Film Festival. Oh the glamour, the mixture of class and kitsch, the buzz of it all! One thing is sure for most of us though: Cannes is the one place where you’ll be wearing your most elegant black number (it usually comes down to a choice of black dresses with few other colours getting a chance).

ONCE YOU ARE THERE – PART ONE THE WORK

You get to Cannes. You do your behind-the-scene hectic work, reminding yourself that it might be tiring and at times repetitive, but running up and down the Croisette still beats sitting down all day in front of the computer in an office reminiscent of its previous use, a hospital. This small but world famous place is as much about the business of selling film rights as it is about glamour and stars.
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Hectic and tiring it may be, but you have to make darn sure that you do all the running around dressed in your best attire. Casual in Cannes is a costly affair. The Cannes look involves expensive linen items, so Primark will have to take a step back (don’t worry, I will return). That place demands more from your look in two weeks than London ever will in a lifetime. Cannes is also extremely demanding of one’s social skills. While back home it will be years before you bump into someone in the street, that changes in Cannes. From the moment you arrive until you get on the plane to come back, you are constantly bumping into people you know, you want to know, people who know you and whom you don’t remember. You are also constantly surrounded by your work colleagues, many of whom are friends, but with whom you would maybe not choose to spend so much time back home. In that way I suppose the situation is no different from other trade fairs.

ONCE YOU ARE THERE – PART TWO THE FILM AND THE RED CARPET EXPERIENCE

The evenings are good. If you are lucky and want to make your presence at the Festival worth your while, you take to the red carpet to the premiere of some film you A) may have always wanted to see or B) you wouldn’t otherwise pay to see in the cinema. It largely depends on your luck on the night, in other words on the free invites that come your way. My red carpet events range from Nurse Betty to Shrek II via Matrix II. And yes, I am not going to be all blase and fake indifference towards the plethora of actors, directors and writers that unfold before your very eyes when attending a red carpet event. It is most definitely a unique cinematic experience..
Equally important though is your moment on that red carpet. Lights, camera, action: up those stairs you walk feeling a million dollars. To the left and the right of the red carpet you can catch the humming of hundreds of photographers and passers by, all looking straight to where you are or through you in the hope of a Cameron or a Keira. Not sure I would like to be in the spotlight like that for real, day in day out. God, the pressure of no privacy would drive me mad… Just as well that I am from the very-behind-the-camera crowd and a snippet of pseudo-celebrity will do me just fine, thank you very much.
Once the slow-mo walk up the famous stairs in the Palais de Festival is done, you are in essence an over-dressed cinema goer with the added bonus of maybe brushing shoulders with Al or Woody if they happen to be attending that same premiere.

THE AFTER FILM PARTY

The film starts and ends, you hopefully enjoy it, the talent comes on stage afterwards and you all clap with varying degrees of sincerity. Then comes a possibly even more exciting time of the experience: the after film party.
Less and less distributors organize the massive after-film parties they used to throw in the early 90’s. Nonetheless, every year you get to attend a bash thrown in honour of some high profile production. These parties happen in two main locations: by the sea or on the grounds of glamorous villas up in the hills of Cannes. I prefer the second category.

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What you do after the film is go to a pick-up point where buses await for the guests to jump on and be taken to the villa. The atmoshpere is all round jolly. Yet again, you are bound to bump into someone you know and even vague acquaintances start showing promising friendship potential in the euphoria leading up to a good night. Once you get past the scary bouncers you are “on the other side”. Everyone is elegant and in a good mood, the music flows and so do the drinks. Not much food unless you are willing to queue for hours at the buffet areas, which loses its appeal after a while. You dance and smile and meet and greet and even if it’s work and your real mates aren’t there, you don’t feel that what you are doing is working. I, for one, love this perk of the job. Occasionally, you have to contain yourself from throwing idolizing glances in the direction of mega-celebrities who pass you by in a casual manner. You have to act cool…

These parties are about networking, I suppose. It is actually surprising how much gets done in that apparently informal and relaxed environment. The conversations you often overhear are revealing the 24/7 nature of this business: “ I have a script I would like you to look at”. “ I think I have a big star line-up for my next production. I can’t tell you who just yet” ( probably because they themselves don’t know yet….); “I am setting up this fund for film financing”
Unlike a “real party” you have to keep your wits about you a bit more, but not as much as you’d think.

The next day starts with its 8am meeting, you chit chat about the fun ( or lackthereof as it may be the case) during the night before and then head for pretty much the same pattern. For at least ten days.

Is this in line with how you envisaged Le Festival?

March 18, 2007

Hong Kong Story

Filed under: Funny stuff — B @ 10:58 pm

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Don’t know why, but it seems that when it comes to massages, spa treatments and any sort of body embellishments, travelling to Hong Kong equals heaven. Not only does the quality of the service excel, but – very importantly – the prices are affordable. That explains why many of us tired, jetlagged Europeans recently arrived on our 5 day business trips, end up looking better than before our flight took off from Heathrow. It’s the magic touch of the HK beauticians.

And this time around, I was not let down. My third trip to HK started like the other previous ones: get on the plane, watch some movie (saw star-packed Bobby), chit chat with the person next to you if they’re nice (she was) and hope to get some sleep in (I hardly did).

The next morning comes with a treat in store. We jump in the cab to go to Central, which is a shopper’s ultimate destination. I am not a keen shopper (it was the mortgage or the clothes…) but I was dead set on at least working with (or against) what nature’s given me. So picture this: a super crowded super narrow market street. Nothing like the welcoming wide aisles of the Istanbul Bazar, for example.

Suddenly you hear a lady in the crowd asking “Manicure for HK$70?” (that’s £5) and the next thing you know, you are entering this council tower- type building, going up the stairs to what may very well be someone’s flat. But there is a good feeling, so what if it’s not The Sanctuary?

Well, there were no incense sticks and waterfalls sounds, but boy were we in for a surprise! As we were going up the stairs to what traditionally should be a tranquil place to sit down and be pampered, we were greeted with a Madonna wannabe belting out I’m Crazy for You on the karaoke machine. They had a karaoke machine in the waiting room, complete with glass disco ball and all.

The place was a flat in which they had turned the tiny entrance hall into an entertainment centre: karaoke, internet connection they had it all. For a second there I contemplated leaving. There is a good reason why I didn’t choose singing as a career and a morning “I Will Survive” sesh was not on my agenda. But I was re-assured I did not have to sing if I did not want to, although they did encourage us to follow the example of a 5 year old who did not shy away from declaring the she, indeed, Will Survive.

I wish I’d taken a photo of the place. Most people working in there were from the Phillippines, so when a Philippino pop song came on, the nostalgia overwhelmed them and you should have heard the collective humming and tapping while they were painting those nails, rubbing those feet and applying the perm solutions….

Surreal! But great fun. I am going to take the idea back to my local manicure place. The ladies there are Korean, maybe they won’t think I’ve lost my mind. Maybe they’ve been to Hong Kong themselves. South London, get ready for this.

March 12, 2007

A non-Shakespearian Heroine in Stratford

Filed under: B recommends,Food for thought,Funny stuff — B @ 10:33 pm

This weekend Amore and I took a spontaneous trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. This is in line with our getting-to-know-England-better plan. Also, with 3 degrees Celsius extra on our doorstep (this weekend’s Sunday Times illustrated article on global warming is not for the faint-hearted), we said to ourselves maybe it’s time we did our bit and cut down on those tempting cheap weekend flights to the sunnier sides of Europe. What the heck… We live in England and when somebody mentions High Wycombe we still think they are talking about Scotland…

So, we got on the train at Marylebone Station, one of London’s oldest and most charming, my personal favourite (have you seen their florists?). Two hours later we are in Shakespeare memorabilia heaven: there are souvenir shops, statues of characters from his plays, a tour of the haunted house that once belonged to the man who inspired Falstaff (the Bard’s brother in law).

There are, of course, the theatres, the lovely country pubs, the beautiful riverside walks and the overall olde worlde charm that sold England to me in the first place, all those years ago. We had a fantastic day and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of London at the weekend. Not a place for longer than two days, methinks.

The day is also memorable for the sight I’m about to describe. As someone else was commenting, it’s got to be one of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen. As we were walking along the river enjoying the sunshine and eavesdropping on a tour guide, we saw this elderly lady coming from the opposite direction. When I say elderly I mean proper elderly, early 80’s at least, with a hunched back, snow white hair, a scarf and a long pink raincoat. Like any of our grandmothers, only older. She suddenly stopped, looked around her and decided on putting her large black bag by this big tree on the riverbank. Nothing strange about her yet. She wanted to have a rest. Well, here’s where I was wrong. I kid you not, ladies and gentlemen, the lady leant her bags against the tree, put herself in position and took off for a jog!! Up and down in a leisurely manner, stopping to draw her breath and then off she went again… I had never ever seen anything like this before. She was so fit, so the opposite of what you’d expect from a 80 something year old lady quietly shuffling along the river. She went on like this for at least half an hour while Amore and me were sipping our Stella’s at what we were told was the best known pub in the world (The Black Swan, also known as The Dirty Duck). She then stopped and dutifully did her stretching after which she recuperated her bag and went away. I can tell you that she made a lasting impression on a wide open air audience. She was our non-Shakespearian centre stage lady. She did make me smile. Amore thought she was not all there and felt sorry for her (How would you feel if your granny took off like that in the park?); I thought she was an eccentric fitness fan. Good on her.

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Let’s just say it was enough to make me reconsider the extent of my weekly exercise routine (three times a week walk from Farringdon to Elephant and Castle).

So here’s to you, the jogger in a pink raincoat in Stratford. You made the trip less about Shakespeare and therefore less predictable. Have you considered the marathon?

March 2, 2007

A Very Brief History of Dating

Filed under: Food for thought,Funny stuff — B @ 11:07 pm

I start this post from the basics: Wikipedia’s definition of dating. It does actually re-direct you to courtship, which gives the concept a somewhat more vintage feel, but it defines it in a nutshell thus serving as a good trampoline for this post.

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Courtship is the process of selecting and attracting another for an intimate relationship such as love, sex, commitment, living together, marriage, and having children, or any combination of these. Courtship may last days, months, or even years, but some lovers skip courting altogether as in cases of love at first sight or arranged marriage.
Many couples stop courting or going out after they have chosen to remain together, or after they have married, or after they have children. Those that do still may still call these outings “dates”.

My intention here is to depart from the standard boy-meets-girl scenario and talk about a particular form of dating. One that has become an intrinsec part of the overall getting together game (mating game would have sounded a bit too much out of an Attenborough show about friendly penguins).

You will have guessed by now that this is going to be a post about online dating. Hmmmm… There is enough material here for a novel, an encyclopedia even. Or – why not – a manual on the evolution of the dynamics of relationships. Volume 2007.

Seeing that I have called this post the way I have, let’s rewind back to 1998. A dear friend of mine is telling me she is going to meet up with a guy off the internet. On paper/e-mail he sounded fab: good job, decent age when you’d expect a man to be past the times of exploring avenues ever so new. The photo ain’t that bad either so what do I say? ” Are you sure about this? What if he’s a psycho?”

Now, I am going to be frank and admit to a higher than usual degree of paranoia. Where it comes from, it beats me, probably from some childhood experience, as is the case with everything that is not right in your life. Let’s blame it on the parents…

In my defense, though, in those times, meeting up with a faceless individual whose only relationship with you is based on typing sounded a bit crazy. She herself agreed thus keeping the way she met her now husband under wraps with many of their friends and family. The “now husband” bit reveals that particular story was a success. As she then put it to me: how is it different from meeting a guy in a bar? Well, eerrrgh, I don’t know how….You see them first, true, but that doesn’t mean they can’t turn into a monster of boredom or the drunkard from hell. Always looking on the bright side, me.

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Roll on almost a decade later and if you’re single and have not given online dating a try, you are wasting your time. At least that is the case in my circle of friends. Many have tried it out.

Conversations amongst young and old rate http://www.match.com higher than http://www.meetic.com, whilst the newer discovery http://www.mysinglefriend.com is winning many over through the endorsement of the always pregnant, TV tough cookie Sarah Beeny. On her site, you basically big up your friend “without their knowledge” they are then chuffed at the surprise of it all (ha!), upload some witty comment themselves and before they know it, the virtual doors of your singlehood are crashed down by eager suitors. Hallelujah! Ladies and gentlemen, where does that happen in real life, if you are not Eva Herzigova or George Clooney?

There are even specialised religion-oriented sites where you can make sure you avoid unwanted outsiders and stick to your own. No extra comment on this one. You know who you are…

And I am pretty sure that a bit of time in my hands would yield a variety of dating websites catering for the pickiest amongst us.

My friends’ experience with online dating stretches across a broad range:

* some met their current spouses on the internet

* others have had to go through a lot of strange characters to get to a decent partner material.

* there are of course those who were asked if they liked setting fire to things which I’d rate as rather alarming. They had this conversation on date numero uno and a second date followed! Why??

* there have been trans-continental liasions as well as trans-generational ( call me a skeptic but who buys the 62 year old guy and the 24 year old girl story….not me, not you and certainly not him)

* there have also been cases of “is he ever going to make the next step??” series of dates when eventually the said dates were classified as a waste of time; in this online dating business people are serious and not inclined to waste time with niceties; Get to the point: unless mentioned otherwise, you are not there to find another male friend…

In my case the jury is still out debating as to where I stand on this issue. On the fence would be the answer at the moment. Would I try it if I were single? Probably. Would I look forward to the experience? Probably not. I’d be petrified.

The over analyzer in me has a few issues with this modern way to meet your match:

* although I myself would be involved in the process, I could not help thinking: “What’s wrong with him? Why is he here, if he is so perfect?”

* I would then wonder how I’d fare against the other 500 women he met that month

* So I’d end up paying ridiculous money to make myself look fab, thus letting myself in for a big and unforgiving fall should a second date occur ( spend the same money again now that I’m in or let him see the real me? Would not call this a win/win situation.)

* Also, very importantly, what if we don’t like each other? Do I stand up and go home? Or, worse, would I have to continue dining on my own should he up and leave?

I guess we can all conclude that I should stick to more traditional ways. I said it before, I met Amore in a bar in Shoreditch and that will do me fine.

But I am intrigued by how fast times have moved. Is internet dating a good thing to humanity? Clearly it is, for many. Virtual matchmaking is fastly replacing any other kind of happiness accommodating third party.

GSOH, LOL, :0), :0(, XX, watch out for the new language of love….

To be continued…..

January 28, 2007

I Believed I Could Fly

Filed under: Funny stuff — B @ 5:32 pm

Did you ever sit down on a plane intrigued by whom you might end up sitting next to? Especially on a long haul flight? I certainly used to. I didn’t obsess about it, but it always intrigued me. It was always the thrill of one last possible treat after trying out all the perfumes and lipsticks in Duty Free. I am not going to lie to you and pretend I was after an interesting conversation with an academic lady from Nepal. When I was single ( to get things straight for Amore) I fantasized about maybe meeting the man of my dreams on a plane. What a great story that would have made for our grandchildren! Grandpa and I were sitting next to each other on the way back from Sidney and we’ve been sitting next to each other ever since. Get it? I am as cheesy as it comes.

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Few people I know get on planes as often as I do. No, I am not boasting about it, it’s a fact. I get on a lot of planes and actually go to a lot of places a lot of times. Some call it great luck, I call it something that I would get very bored without.

Inspite of all that, I have never ever started a somewhat promising conversation with an eligible guy on a plane or in a waiting lounge. I did catch glimpses of good looking fellas walking around airports in casual manner, but not once was there a conversation with view to keeping in touch later on.

For example now, I am on a plane flying back to London sitting next to a studious looking man completely immersed in his book. I just glimpsed at the book and it must be one of those things that come with a womens magazine. Where else would you get a book that says ” I just love it when men throw their eyes back and say mea-yaaaaoooww”…. ?? Bad! Bad! Bad!

To my left there is a handsome man reading The Economist. Don’t these successful business types ever stop?

The list of indifferent people on the plane can continue. Also, I have had the other end of the spectrum when conversations would start and never end. But never that romantic touch. Which is ok. Or it would have been had I not known at least two people who have found love on the plane. Is it me then?…Hmmm. Just as good, ‘coz I’m not interested. ;0) I met Amore while dancing away one night and we’ve been together eversince…

Just as I mentioned the conversations I’ve had over the years, I am going to point out the most interesting ones that will maybe one day become a story on this very blog. There was:

* the 75 year old Englishman who was going to Habana to marry his 25 year old Cuban pen girlfriend and believed it was out of love (call me a cynic!); he was sad at his 45 year old daughter’s ageist attitude towards all this…

* the Jewish slightly nerdy 30 year old who was going to Kiev to meet the Jewish man of his dreams

* the insurance salesman from Suffolk who was friendly and sweet and kept me engaged in conversation all throughout the flight from Sidney, even held my hand tight during the worst case of turbulence I’d ever experienced and then – upon seeing his wife and kids in the airport literally ran off without even saying goodbye

* the Turkish man who didn’t speak a word of English and- deceived by my Mediterranean (good) looks – made several attempts to converse in Turkish throughout a flight from Istanbul; to this day I wonder what it was he was saying, he looked like a kind person

* the guy whom my friend and I had left behind in a rather unladylike manner in Ibiza ( we did a runner on him because he talked too much) and then re-surfaced in the airport getting us acquainted with an un-necessary pang of guilt

* the dashing German young man who befriended me on a flight from New York to London, took my number and called me to ask for my advice as to how to tell his father he was gay

The list of such examples is long. A few years back I had a bit of a fling with a pilot in Madrid. Not DURING the flight, as one friend of mine thought in horror ( “Is this the type of people we put our lives in the hands of?”). I suppose that redeems my lack of success on the actual plane.

Unless the Turkish guy was declaring his undying love to me, you can tell that the plane was not going to spark a romance in my life. Not even a lasting friendship. Why I ever expected to build a rapport with someone on a plane, when that never occurs to me on my daily trips on buses, I can’t say. But there was a time when I did. Not anymore.

Have you ever met someone on a plane?

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