Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It's not that I want it to go like this

Don't ask me what I am doing, sitting in a Hong Kong bar frequented by expats.

I am socially out of my depth. I have no idea what to say, and when I am goaded into speech by some particularly insistent person, I mumble incoherently in a way I hope suggests I am normally too much in demand by a wide circle of friends to end up here. Either that or I feel so provoked, I tell everyone exactly what I think. I am rarely invited back.

I thought I would share the Basil Fawlty awkwardness of this event with you, since I haven't got any other friends.

Anyway, it might provide a distraction if you're waiting for your wash cycle to finish.

Expat: Hello Grit, nice to meet you. Is your family here?

Grit: (barely audible) Yes.

(awkward pause)

Expat: Have you any children?

Grit: (slumping into seat) Yes.

(awkward pause)

Expat: (casting round, desperate for something to say) Do you like Hong Kong?

Grit: (shifty glances) Um, er, um, er. No.

Expat: Oh! Why is that?

Grit: Er, er.

Expat: Come on! You can tell me!

(awkward pause)

Grit: Um, I find it a little soulless.

Expat: How do you mean?

Grit: Well, do you really want to know?

Expat: Yes!

Grit: The environmental record is appalling so we're all doomed, and the government couldn't care less because they're not interested in anything but appeasement to Beijing, and when they're not doing that they're only bothered about maintaining the support for the concrete-pouring construction industry, so the place is run by people with no loyalty except to themselves, money and power, while any dissenting voice or local opposition is suppressed, so by a mixture of cowardice, greed, backsliding and repression they're systematically destroying some of the finest assets here, stuffing any history and selling the future, and don't tell me about the vibrant cultural life because they just buy that in to make the place look good.

Expat: Oh.

(awkward pause)

Expat: How are your children doing in school?

1 comment:

sharon said...

But why did you go there? The Expat Bar, not HK, I know why you are there.

Keep to the front of your mind that you can go home again in a few short months ;-)