Saturday, August 05, 2006

Haven

"Where are they from?" C asked. "They are trainees from Senegal" D said. "Doesn't their hair stink? It looks so greasy". "That's false hair. I assure you they change it more often than you would think possible." "Their skin is absolutely jet black. We are so much better". Since D didn't know where to begin correcting that opinion, he chose to change the topic: "You see the statue over there...?" He had an unconscious need to display how chummy he was with his town. "...and that's how Antwerp got its name. Let me tell you something else about this statue..." He had used that story several times before but for the first time it had failed to captivate his audience. They were already looking elsewhere. "Take a picture of me with that shop in the background" C requested. K's face clearly reflected what he was thinking "Beer Beer everywhere, not a drop to drink". "What's over there?" asked P. "Ah! nothing much" D replied. "But the buildings look nice." "Those are just old buildings at the harbour. Don't think we can go inside. Besides there are no trams from there" he said, scanning his brain for other visit-worthy places to suggest as alternatives. "I don't mind walking" she insisted. He had always prided himself on calling a spade nothing but that, and now he had somehow been manipulated into feeling that he needed to talk euphemistically. He hated it. "Ok that's the red light district. Not many ladies go there". He felt relieved already but he continued "maybe because there are no male whores in those windows. Hey I wonder why not?". Some other day, and with some other people, that would have drawn atleast a few smiles, if not a healthy intellectual debate of a half-baked anthropological nature. That day, it just folded up the evening hastily. Not to mention, there was very little eye-contact.
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