Friday, 22 February 2008

Do you think you're immune to cheating girlfriends?

She walked up to me and asked me this question. I pondered this for a while, and a multitude of answers went through my head, from truthful to non-committal to downright rude. I looked up, noticed the stiff, wooden swaying on the dancefloor again and decided to go for non-committal.

No, why are you asking?

It turned out to be an informal survey, with almost 100% of respondents going for "no". I had probably appeared arrogant, aloof and overdressed.

All this highlighted the fact that this night was the end of student life as I knew it, and that I wasn't going to be missing out on anything much.

First of all, only beer was served. The clothing was cheap, generic straight-boy-without-style stuff. The hair was often longish and unwashed, no bonus points in my book. Once in a while, an attempt at fashion sense would be spotted, in the form of outdated pink shirts and Chasin' longsleeves. The DJ was awful, working without order or flow and being aided by a yuppie type who would emit saxophone frenzies whenever he felt like it, completely spoiling the tunes he was attempting to improve. I stood out and knew it, wishing I was somewhere else.

Rewind to the morning. The day had started out better, but not much. I had arrived early, as the conference location was close to my house, picked up all the necessary materials and attended the first lecture, by a Dutch bank. Friends who had promised to go, failed to show up. I moved on to the next lecture, which, thankfully, was a lot more interesting.

I somehow knew I was going to bump into someone I knew from the "scene", which happened during the cocktail hour. The waiters for the dinner party walked in, the way an army platoon captures a bridge. Queens galore, and of course I knew one of them... boy was I enjoying this... not.

Just after the cocktail hour, a lecturer from the London School of Economics would talk about "the history of economics in the workplace". This turned out not to be the case. It was much better, a half-hour diatribe combining jabs at the Dutch railways ("NS stands for No Service"), the French, the Germans, Charlemagne (don't ask) and women ("I prefer my pc to my girlfriend: I can add more memory and take the sound card out"). It was hilarious, just what everyone needed after drinks and he got a standing ovation. The Germans in the audience were, of course, miffed.

So, after the politically incorrect Brit, dinner, as a guest of the Dutch central bank. I was hoping to be served by the guy I knew, but he had been allotted the next table.

Dinner was cool: the food was wonderful, wine flowed copiously and conversation was cool, considering none of us knew each other. It consisted mostly of the Southerners in the group, being me, the kid next to me and the recruiter of the bank convincing the Northerners at the table of the merits of carnival. This was followed by a hilarious anecdote about a sober, early twenties first-timer being propositioned by a woman in her fifties during the first five minutes. This story matches some of my own experiences. ;-)

Anyway, as I went back home to change for the party I bumped into the serving queen. I said hi, but if looks could kill, I wouldn't be sitting here typing this...

1 comment:

The Balunky Journals said...

living dangerously!! haha

the gig was good, it was a nice club very new york style... party for the people sitting up on stage were the so called VIPs! i wasnt too happy about that but hey, teh show must go on! :)