Monday, 31 May 2010

World hold on


What a weekend! Discos, dinners and debauchery. How old are we, again? Clubs are danced in with university-party gusto. Food is eaten with reckless abandon. And Monday mornings are very, very quiet.

One such night of abandon involved going to see Bob Sinclar (le mec in the pink bunny suit pictured above). I've seen/heard him once before in New York, where we waited 2 hours to get in, were frisked at the door by a bouncer whose job is also obviously his hobby, and then had to put faith in the club that the white spot at the end of the hall with lasers coming out of it was in fact him, and not just someone with his music on their ipod.

So, once burnt, twice shy. I arrived 2 hours early to pick up our tickets. Wore bouncer-proof clothes (i.e. very little) and donned my most winning smile. I needn't have worried. The ticket booth was an island of peace and quiet. And I couldn't tell if the subservient looking chap at the velvet rope was a bouncer or a bell boy. So, I bought our tickets and killed time in the member's only terrace of the club. No, I'm not a member. No, they didn't care.

Friends came and went, T finally arrived. We walked into what I expected to be a huge moulin-rouge-type place with go-go dancers hanging off the ceiling. Turns out Dragon I (the club) is tiny. We must have been all of 800 people. That's smaller than the Lycee Francaise in Barcelona! (Probably same proportion of French people). And what a night we had! Bob Sinclar played all his usuals, mixed in plenty of U2 and MC Hammer and we danced, and danced and danced. Thanks Bob!


Real (crap) footage of the night:


What it sounded like (listen to it - ignore strange imagery -only thing I could get from youtube):


Happy Monday!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Shek O or now-I-know-why-we-live-in-HK

Oh I seeeee. That Hong Kong. Why didn't anybody mention this earlier?! After having been rapped over the knuckles by T for sitting around complaining, I set out yesterday morning on what my brother would call an 'agventure', to discover the South Side of the island.

My destination of choice was Shek O. Hong Kong's only beach with waves. It's also on the furthest tip of the island, so it really allowed me to feel like I was breaking new ground. So, off I went. Lonely Planet tucked under arm, flip flops on, enough cash to buy Coke Zero along the way and the book-I-can't-put-down (The girl who kicked the hornet's nest). Now that I think about it, I suppose these would be the things I would take on a desert island.

The trip couldn't have been easier. All I had to do was get the metro for 5 stops (to Shau Kei Wan), dive onto a bus (no 9) that was literally outside the exit and then sit on it until it reached the last stop. Totally blondie proof. I couldn't get lost even if I tried. And I did try actually as I got off the metro one stop too soon, but someone quickly guided me back on. Nice try.

The buses, by the way, are double deckers here. And they drive at break-neck speed, skidding round corners and breaking at stops, as if caught by surprise. I can see the driver thinking, "Damn. Another stop? again?"

Anyway, as we lurched our way to Shek O, the scenery gradually changed from King Kong-esque jungle to Costa Brava prickly-piney-greeny-browny. And then, one last lethal corner, and we toppled out onto this:





Tested the water...aaaaaahh


Thought about how I could be them if I only-I-had-brought-a-bather. Arse


Knew I was in heaven when I saw the beach shop had not one, but TWO of my favorite drinks on earth, ever


And then skidded back home


Note the use of large pictures for this post. Thought they got the atmos across better. Even though I seriously need a photography course or something to stop them looking like 1970s postcards

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Truth is stranger than fiction


I never thought I would be writing an ad for laundry detergent, but I am. I bought it at the supermarket near where we currently live in Kennedy Town. They only have Chinese products in this barrio, so I bought the one bottle that had a few bits written in English on it - not much, only "Fresh n' Hygiene" and a few other vague claims.

Turns out the stuff is magic.

It washes out ANYTHING. Blood? gone. Accidentally died t-shirts? Back to white. Oil? Gone. AMAZING.

So today, after washing blue die off my shorts in -2 seconds, in icy water I thought I'd better a) tell you about it and b) read the label

The label shows pictures of lots of unidentifiable looking objects that it can wash out, and it's written that it kills 99.9% of everything. So that's that. No, they don't mention if it's environmentally friendly. Nor do they include any customer service number to call in case of ingestion. I've Googled the brand (Walex) and can only find a septic tank producer with that name.


But despite the dubious contents/origins of this product, it's funny how our expectations have dropped so low that we come to think it's a miracle that a product actually does what it says it does. Imagine if hair growing formula, anti-wrinkle cream, vitamin pills, "power bars" all did what they claim to do!!

Off to eat my morning yogurt. It's good for the bones, you know.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Tai-Tai

My knee in the sun

According to everyone with a job, sitting around doing nothing is a rare treat to be cherished. Like all good things, they pass. Not bloody fast enough! I've spent 2 days hard at work on my tan and have managed to decorate my back with various white lines and that's that. Done. What next? Yes, I already had a pedicure. (I really shouldn't be complaining though as these were the only 2 sunny days Hong Kong has had in decades).

I'm starting to relate to those desperately annoying, and ridiculously wealthy, women who say "oh I do charity work". As they sip their Veuve Clicquot and blind you with their diamonds. I normally feel a wave of nausea when I come across one of these specimens, and wouldn't like to become one of them. Although, no worries there, as I'm yet to fall under the "ridiculously wealthy" category, unless one of us wins the lottery.

So, tomorrow you'll find me doing some form of uncharitable work or other. Although we have been kindly invited to the opening of the Hong Kong Art Fair, which should bring some of my brain cells out from hiding, albeit briefly.

Monday, 24 May 2010

South Beach

The buck stops here. I can't keep eating. I might explode. I need to start shrinking. Now.

Life here thus far has been a sensory adventure. Lavish meals on top of towering terraces, chocolate desserts and strolls on the waterfront with Magnums dripping onto our fingers. And they don't mess around with cakes and tarts and things around here either. There's a cake shop on every corner, and T keeps diving into them to check if their macaroons/brownies/pain au chocolat/eclaires are up to snuff. Of course, I'm dragged in, kicking and squealing, and forced to eat them too. It's all been quite frightful.


And then there was the photograph. Typical story: complete stranger takes picture of girl and boyfriend in front of pretty view. Girl looks at picture to see if it's up to scratch. Girl doesn't recognize herself in the picture. Girl spends rest of day quietly plotting her come back. Note that boy looks exactly the same as he always looked. But that's boys for you.

So, I'm going to have to say noooo to all those evil delicacies and move into serious combat mode. South Beach diet here I come. Taking after MetMum, who tracked her post pregnancy weightloss, I am now going to track my return to normalcy. Her quest was obviously far more worthy than mine, what with having given birth and all, as opposed to my return from sheer gluttony.

Here's the game plan (in broad brush strokes):

Scoff:
Anything that's lean (all white meat, fish, eggs)
Low carb veggies (greek veggies, red veggies)

Don't scoff:
Carbs (e.g. rice, pasta, potatoes, carrots, peas, bread, noodles, macaroons, chocolate brownies, dessert)
Sugars (oyster sauce, magnum ice cream, pocky sticks)
Alcohol (margaritas, champagne, wine)
Fruit (that includes mango juice)
Skin on meat (including Peking duck)

Scoff with care:
Legumes (1 cup garbanzos, kidney beans a day max)
15 nuts a day (can be 1 tbs of peanut butter)
2 cups fat free milk (aka 2 Starbucks skimmed lattes a day)
2 tbs olive oil (to be put on salad)
Hard cheese

Exercise:
Walk more, cab less

This basically translates into drinking 2 skimmed lattes, eating a nicoise salad for lunch and feasting on baked fish with green beans for dinner. Everyday. With variations. For 2 weeks. If I'm still looking like a snake that swallowed a basketball, the programme will be extended. I will only weigh in today, next Monday and then the following.

I could really do with a kitchen. But I don't have any pots or anything yet, as they're being rowed over from the US. So, this all has to be done at restaurants.

Today's weight (had to find the gym in the building to weigh myself - wore a bikini to keep it as low as possible): 62.5kg

Comments: None

Goal weight: Below 60kg


Sunday, 23 May 2010

Little Boxes

The hillside

I was looking out the window this morning, and the song, Little Boxes came to mind.

I haven't thought of this song in years. It's been stored away in the depths of my memory under S for School Concerts. I sang it along with everyone else in J3, with great enthusiasm, as directed by our severely left wing music teacher, Mrs K. This was then followed by some equally disturbing left wing propaganda, like Knocking on Heaven's Door and the Sound of Silence, while our parents coughed and clapped politely.

Anyway, here's my thinking on Hong Kong at the moment.

Lyrics, for those of you who like to sing along:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Food for thought




I'm about to jump into a cab to meet T and some complete strangers for dinner.

I just wanted to mention that the food here is to die for. We went to a place last night underground, with only 4 tables and a set menu that wasn't actually printed i.e. everything was a "surprise". Anyway, it was outstanding. Chinese. The head chef, who is the wife of the head waiter, came out at the end and sang Chinese opera. A little odd, but better than a baileys. I'm not telling the name because it's one of those secret places that everybody knows about.

We've eaten the best fish here too. Fish that's pulled out of a huge tank and then lavishly served with veggies and rice. Note that being Spanish, fish with heads are the norm for me. However, I cannot, and will not do chicken with its head on. T had to put a bowl on it so I didn't get up and leave.

Finally, lots of top class buffets with steaming goodies, chocolate fountains and flambed (sp) bananas. Oddly enough, you can get the same buffet in different restaurants, but the prices can range wildly, as the quality of the ingredients goes up and the % of MSG comes down.

Ok, off to dinner at Cheri Cheri. Some French place where I'm sure the owner will spot the frenchman in T in a second and start bowing and scraping, while I sit there looking like a tourist he picked up in SOHO along the way.

List of good spots:

Isola (best Italian on earth, ever)
Zumma (sushi with millionaires)
Sevva (dossas with millionaires)
Flying pan (terrible American diner that brings New York back to us)
Da Ping Huo (the singing chef I said I wouldn't mention)
The harbour restaurant (fresh fish, chicken with heads)


Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The flower market (the jungly section)








Proper names

The South China Morning Post always juices up a story with little morsels on the societal roles of the people involved. These roles, however, change depending on what that person was actually doing either before, or after, the newsworthy event occurred.

So, if you're a doctor, you might be reduced to 'dog owner', if the story involves you and your dog. But if you're on your way to work, you'll probably get your job title e.g. from paper yesterday:

Deadly smash. Three people were thrown from the vehicle by the force of the crash. One was a butcher on his way to work.

This got me thinking. What would they describe me as if I got involved in some newsworthy story? If something happened on the way to a non job interview, what would they write? Eager job candidate trips on future employer's stairs? And coming back from the flower market? Gardener drops buganvilla on toe? And on my way to the personal trainer? Wannabe athlete skids down stairs on her way to luxury trainer?

And the rest of the time.. what if I'm not going anywhere really?

Today I'm 'managing' furniture assembly. Read opening the door and serving tea. Foreman?



Friday, 14 May 2010

Chinese proverb of the day

If you're going to have a meltdown, make sure to plan ahead and book a personal training session for the next day

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Caught between two stools

The thought of maybe-one-day-having-a-job has put me into a state of paralysis.

Up until today, my mind has been full with other things; Boom Boom, wardrobes, food, meeting new people, making sure T's shirts are ironed. I've been quite enjoying it actually.

But now the thought of work has put a spoke in the works. What about the roofgarden I want to build? And the re-covering of the couch? And how will I manage the IKEA delivery men? And who will look after this blog? And didn't I want to start personal training?

So, today you'll find me next to the pool. Hoping this all goes away.

A word of warning


Outside the Feather Boa bar. A notice has been taped to the door, from the inside. It reads:

Republic of Singapore
DF

My name is DF

My actions have caused embarrassment to the staff and patrons of the Feather Boa. I am deeply sorry for all the trouble caused to all the members of the club Feather Boa.

The understanding shown by the staff of the club has been very appreciated with nothing other than this announcement and paying the cost for the damage of the door has been asked for. There was a loss of business [and] nothing was requested.

In this respect, the club and its staff have only requested this apology in addition to the repairs.

We have paid HK$8000 in respect of the reparations.

Damage $8000
News party $6000

dfly@mgmt.org

Name disguised to not add insult to injury

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A non interview


Photo from: HRInmotion

What does one wear to a non job interview? I'm meeting a friend of a friend tonight who is generously humoring me with a drink to discuss whether I could potentially be employed by anyone ever again. No pressure.

Now, I don't have any problem with formal interview attire: skirt, shirt, flat shoes (to not intimidate any shorter male interviewers), ponytail and deodorant. These are my key interview staples. My problem lies with this in-between-oh-we're-just-meeting-for-a-drink-and-then-we'll-see-what-happens attire.

I asked T this morning, before he left the house dressed in a designer suit, with shoes to match. His outfits are always impeccable, which is most annoying, as I always have to change at least three times before leaving the house before any occasion that involves more people than just the two of us. Sometimes I think, sod it, and go out in whatever I was already wearing. This is usually a mistake.

Anyway, so I asked T what I should wear and he said, "Wear what you want her to see."

"And what's that?" I ask. He looked at me blankly. Probably wondering how he landed up with a non French girl.

What do I want her to see? People who know me would say that I have at least one working brain cell and that my disastrous dress sense is one of my endearing qualities. The crux lies in what people who don't know me see.

Take the Mona Lisa. The fact that she decided to wear her hair parted in the middle and loose, instead of tied up in a bun, made a big difference. Or that she is wearing a veil. That morning, before she met Leonardo, she must have changed at least a dozen times. Thinking, little,useless veil? or no little, useless veil? My heart goes out to Lisa, or Mona.

Chore of the day: Pull out all summer clothes and look for something that shows you're "effortlessly" (biggest understatement ever) smart, stylish and someone you want to sit next to at the office Christmas party.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Haggling: A rough guide

This morning, well noonish, I was sitting downstairs have my morning coffee at my fave coffee shop. Which I go to because the lady behind the counter is friendly, not because of the coffee, which is terrible and needs to be mixed with lots of Splenda to taste more or less decent. Even T needs Splenda in it and he thinks putting anything sweet in coffee deserves corporal punishment. He's French, bless him.

Anyway. She asked me how my trip to Horizon Plaza had been, and I told her it had been a disaster all round.

"How much they say?" She asked

"$11600HK to build a wardrobe"

"$11600HK???!!!! You must negotiate! You must shout and be aggressive and don't let them say no. You must say: why so expensive?! why so expensive?! and you must point and look angry! You must get the price to half what they say! You people don't negotiate enough!"

Right. Good point.

So off I go to Wan Chai, East Queen St which the forums have also highly recommended. These forums are losing more and more credibility.

I walk into a furniture shop with pretty crappy furniture, so I think this is a perfect place to get a good, cheap wardrobe (The place is called Takad if anyone is interested). I only need it to last 12 months! So as long as it holds out for that time, and costs less than IKEA, I'm taking it. I also come equipped with my newly acquired agro-haggling skills.

I spot the wardrobe style I like. I give the shopgirl, who looks about 14, the dimensions I need and then I ask her the key question:

"How much?"

Vigorous clicking on calculator. Using times and division buttons.

"$6000HK"

So, here's my moment. The price is quite good actually, but I know that I should negotiate in principle. I tower over her, wave my arms around and shout:

"Why so expensive??!! Why so expensive??!!! Is too expensive!!!!"

Girl closes her eyes and shakes head vehemently,

"No negotiate! No negotiate!!!! Is factory price!!! Factory price!!"

Factory price my arse. I continue to haggle, thinking I'm being rather good at it and that I look just like coffee shop friend, and that she would be quite proud if she saw me,

"If I Chinese you give me half price!!!! Not good price!!"

She then looked over at the manager, who was leaning in the corner working his way through jelly babies, and started to laugh. She actually thought it was hilarious. She said something to him, which I'm sure was something like,

"Fool"

I knew it was over. I couldn't believe how badly my plan bombed. It's a little embarrassing actually. I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the mirrors in the shop, and I looked a right state.

The other 5 places I went to asked for even more, and all clearly have very expensive factories, which I'm sure are reserved for the most discerning customers who require the best quality at the best price. Funny how none of them have a price list. Or a website.

What's even worse, is that I'm going to have to go back to the place-where-I-haggled-hard. As they do, after all, have the best price. This is a cone of shame moment.

Chinese proverb of the day

If you're not a local, don't bother haggling. The price won't come down.

Bricks and mortar

Thanks to the sheer non existence of Hong Kong webpages (as one shop owner said to me "no website! People steal ideas." Takes one to know one..) most places are a mystery before you arrive. And only once you arrive can you get a sense for what you needed to bring/think about in advance etc. So, just about everything takes me two trips to do. And I've been trying to be a little more local, taking buses everywhere, which means at the end of the day, I've achieved nothing and am COMPLETELY exhausted. Examples of a few double trips I've had to make:

  • Open a bank account - don't have a valid proof of address* = return home to unearth anything that proves I'm alive
  • Brainstorming session at a friend's company - skirt too tight and clingy for the hot and humid weather = return home and remember to open windows before choosing an outfit
  • Unblock phone - think the place looks too dodgy = return home and sit on forums all day looking for keywords like "unblock iphone, AT&T"

*There is a list of things which are deemed valid proofs of address: passport, ID, library card, letter from anyone to you. Note that it doesn't matter where your address is, as long as it's deemed valid..

But, it's really weird not to know what a place looks like before you get there. We're spoilt by NYmag, I tell you. Case in point. I went furniture shopping yesterday to a place called "Horizon Plaza" which I'd read about in asiaexpat. People referred to it as, "A furniture warehouse in Ap Lei Chau". Groooaan, just what I needed.. elbowing my way through crowds with nothing but a lampshade for protection..

But when I arrive, I find myself to be in a rather lonely street with nothing there expect for a crumbling building and this..

Triad Car

I walk into the building only to find a wall of signs. This is shady. The hot sexy mama parked outside must belong to some mafioso who runs a drug operation from the basement, ha! Horizon Plaza, I knew it was a dodgy name. This is one of those moments which you read about in the paper and everybody tuts at how obvious the situation was and how they would never walk-around-alone-in-a-desolate-neighbourhood and on her own at that.

I brace myself for the worst. I can always run down the back stairs if there's trouble. The numbers in the lift are only even numbers.. meaning that the odd numbers are reserved for the drug lords. I press 28 and wait.


Snotty nosed furniture, at your service

Hamptons Furniture??? My dreams of Nancy Drew fame dissolve as I see that I am in the most expensive home decor warehouse known to mankind. Every single floor had furniture that looked like something out of Architectural Digest, and prices to match. The cheapest guy I could find to build a wardrobe for Boom Boom was asking $11600 HK. That's enough for a small cottage in the Chinese countryside!!!!
  • Go to buy furniture - furniture stores are 200 times more expensive than budget = return home and spend afternoon munching Pocky sticks and flicking through the IKEA catalogue

Monday, 10 May 2010

Is this fair??!!

Sorry to have to vent. As I mentioned this morning, we've signed a lease for Boom Boom. Despite this, we haven't actually heard a squeak from the landlady and we have to do all our dealings with her through her thug broker, con-woman #2 (CW2), who's a nasty piece of work. She also knows she's up to no good, as she's dropped T off her emails to me, because she knows that he knows she's trouble.

Anyway, here's the situation I'm now finding myself in; Boom Boom has no wardrobes, it comes with an oversized fridge which can't actually fit in the kitchen and it has an extra washing machine which the landlady can't be arsed to take home with her, so it's living in the fire escape (I think I mentioned this already).

So there-is-no-space.

Today I went to look at smaller fridges (one that actually fits in the kitchen), find custom wardrobe builders (to build the wardrobes that nobody thought of to build) and find a carpenter who can make a box for the fridge to live in (so it's not holding court in the living room). All of this paid for by moi, as CW2 claims the landlady would be offended. Offended?? By what?? By her tenant asking to not have the apt she's renting used as the landlady's personal storage space??!!!!

But, in good old expat fashion, I've been agreeing and smiling politely at all these crazy terms.....until today. We had asked CW2 to get rid of a hideous ceiling lamp in the living room. And today I get this email from her:

...Regarding the ligting in living room, as it's provided by landlord, I can get handyman to take it out for you. and you need to find the space to store it and put it back when tenancy completed....

I need to find the space????!!!! Is she completely mad?? There is no space to put my socks away, let alone a lamp that looks like a spaceship with two headlights! And to top it off, we're going to have 2 fridges, 2 washing machines and no wardrobes!!! And why is she telling me what I need to do??!!! If anyone's offended, it's me!

Clearly there is no point in talking to evil CW2 any further, as she clearly doesn't give a damn if we have to live with any entire electronics shop in the house. So I'm now going to wait until we get the landlady's phone number, which is currently under maximum high security protection in CW2's office, and hopefully infuse this situation with some reason. Or is this normal?

Boom Boom Home

4 brokers, 2 con-women and 22 taxis later, we found a home! We are now the proud renters of Boom Boom. Boom Boom is perfect in every way, with the one tiny drawback being that they're blowing up the neighbourhood around it. We can't really see the construction work happening, but we can feel it. The place vibrates every weekday from 7 to 7 (although broker #4 aka conwoman #1 would swear it only vibrates and goes boom! 1 hour a day.. from noon until 1pm..). But we love it enough to optimistically think that I'll eventually get a real job and not have to spend all day holding onto handlebars as I move from one room to another doing my wifely duties. It's also a little thin on the storage front. For example, the washing machine was in the fire escape when we first viewed it. I asked the broker whether it was kosher to use the fire escape for storage. Her reply was, "it's your escape, so you choose." Can't beat Chinese common sense.

So, I thought I'd share my newly acquired Hong Kong flat hunting skills with you. Here are the top ten* things you need to be mindful of when looking for apts in HK:

  1. Get lots of brokers as they all have different databases. Brokers who helped me: Colliers, Engel and Volkers, Habitat property, L.J. Hooker. Very useful website: Hong Kong Asiaexpat
  2. Ask for the net size of the apt, not the gross. Net refers to where you'll actually be living, while gross includes the entrance all, stairs, lift etc
  3. Take brokers' advice with a pinch of salt (this is a gross understatement)
  4. Resign yourself to paying double the rent you paid in NYC, and triple what you paid in Europe
  5. If you see construction work - go to the site and phone the supervisor (there's a little papelito outside the site with a list of names and numbers). The two I phoned sounded Oxford educated and were very helpful in clarifying just how long they'll be demolishing the neighbourhood for. Don't waste your breath asking the broker (see point 3)
  6. Accept that buildings with pools/gyms have pokey and cramped apts that would put most Spanish architects to shame. However, derelict Chinese buildings that are over 20 years old and have toothless porters and cabbage odors in the entrance hall, will have nicely renovated apartments and open plan layouts
  7. Choose a place that's less than 15 minutes away from work, and that has ready access to cabs. In trying to prevent T from having to carry two shirts around with him all day, we only looked for places that were on a direct bus/tram line and wouldn't be cabless in the morning
  8. Say no to apts that look up the neighbour's bum. Unless neighbour-spotting is your hobby
  9. Measure the bedrooms to make sure you can fit a double bed in them. Often the rooms are designed for a 5ft dwarf, sorry, 'vertically challenged' person
  10. Always negotiate the price down. But be careful not to 'hurt the landlord's feelings', which really means that you have to always allow a little room for the landlord to feel comfortable that he's ripping you off ever so slightly
*Top Tens are a new thing I learnt from the French this week

Off to find custom furniture makers to build strangely sized wardrobes!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The return of House music

Festivaaaal! I have been deprived of good house music in NYC. Deprived. Here are a few reasons why: popularity of Hip Hop (which I loath), my sheer lack of talent when it comes to wooing bouncers to get me into clubs and, finally, I got a little boring and looked forward much more to nights in front of movies T downloaded than spraining my ankles on the cobblestones of the MeatPacking district. These days are over.

Went out with T and a friend of his, V, for a couple of drinks last night. We got back at 4am -and that was early. The places were heaving with house music, and not just any old house music, but Ibiza style stuff, the kind of thing that you can't but help dance to. And everyone was dancing and talking and drinking fantastic cocktails with names like Juicy Nipple.. We went to Tazmania Ballroom for drinks and then to Drop to dance. Best DJ ever. T spent most of the night befriending men and inviting them to drinks, in return for precious cigs. He seems ok now.

Chore of the day: Buy flat shoes to dance in. In my dreams. If I had any money I would do that..but I don't. So it's high heels or flipflops. Bouncers don't care anyway.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The perm years

When people told me this place was humid, they weren't joking. Outside, the humidity gets up to 90%, which is sort of like being in a Turkish bath. So you can just imagine what this does to a girl's hair. Now, I have wavy hair at the best of times, but in other, dryer, cities, I could just blowdry it in the morning and then it would remain obediently straight for the rest of the day, or until I washed it again. Ha! Fat chance my hair is ever ever going to behave again - what a disaster!

My dear friend HHi in New York warned me before I came, and advised that I should get the brazilian hair straightening treatment done in order to artificially pin my hair down. She did this before she went to Columbia for a conference and her hair looked like something from a shampoo ad. Needless to say, I didn't listen to her. I pride myself in being a low maintenance, low frills kind of person, and stay clear of most beauty treatments unless they're absolutely necessary and I think that my chances of integrating into everyday society will be dampened by not doing them. But she was right. Dead right.

The first day I went out, I just dried my hair as per usual (not much brushing, not much attention paid etc) and went to meet a friend at a swanky roofbar on top of the IFC called Red. I was quite enjoying myself, and working my way through my second glass of wine, and feeling quite 'en vogue', when the waitress came by and innocently said "Oh, you look just like Mariah Carey." The horror! That was it. Because I knew at that moment, that she wasn't referring to the 'new fashionista, big boobs, small waist' Mariah Carey. I knew that she was referring to the perm years. So, I went home a little dejected and pulled out my dusty hair straightener, stuck on a double adapter (it's from the US) and now use it not once, but twice a day! Twice!
Not only do I spend about twelve times as long to get ready in the morning/evening. I have also turned into one of those girls who is endlessly preening herself and checking herself in lift mirrors to see if she looks presentable. I never thought the day would come where it would be me standing in front of the bathroom mirror of a nightclub tirelessly touching myself up and looking at myself from various angles - battling the frizz. I must say, I'm not enjoying this. Maybe a wig is in order...