Monday, April 19, 2004

A most familiar meeting


There must be a blog-writers' manual that says, "Never say 'Just when you think...' and fill in the rest with some tired cliche/coincidence/cliched coincidence (July 14th)".... But it's time to buck anti-convention convention. Another woman in my life has a(nother) doppelganger. I did not get her name, as I was pretty much content with having a dozen quiet beers with an American Chinese Actor friend who was providing the requisite background conversation about work and how he is now content with being an ethnic Chinese situated in a culturally appropriate locale, which, translated, means he's happy to be pulling chicks because he's an American Chinese Actor. He's just about going on (we had allocated 3 hours to this our monthly outpouring of guts and much beer) to how he'd like to further immerse his goodself in his roots by studying Mandarin in Beijing when his female friend walks in. This is the female friend he had planned to be spending the next coupla hours, after spending three hours with me, trying to learn Mandarin with her. I did not get her name properly - I always like to know people's full names - but it sounded something like Teenie or Tinny or Tinneee, depending on whether you ignore the local habit of putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable. First impressions, while I wouldn't say she was nondescript, didn't set off fireworks or anything. Perhapss the beer wuz gedding to me a bit. Then the rugby on the telly finished (with the Auckland shits losing by a large margin), and my pub company had my full attention. Tinny started to speak in a most familiar manner. I think we were on the subject of fluency in Mandarin, when I said to her 'You're a Nanyang Girl'. Correct. How can you tell? 'No, just that Nanyang girls have a good command of the language, and it's not Mandarin'. Oh thank you thank you. Meandering conversation, blah blah, and she's reading from 8Days' horoscopes, and I notice she has a most familiar habit of holding court by interrupting any stream of conversation, even her own, with little offerings, such as the outlook for Cancerians for the week ending April 17th. Then while we're talking about the outlook for Cancerians for the week ending April 17th, she starts to poke me (with her index finger) in the shoulder in a most familiar way, saying as she did, something to the effect of 'wah, so you're a gymnast?' in a most familiar 'you gotta be mocking me but I can't tell for sure way'. 'Waaah, you look like a gymnast, waaah', a coupla times just to the brink of complete annoyance, and then backing off in a most familiar way. She starts to gesticulate in a most familiar way while I checked the alcohol content of the Stella Artois and tried to figure out if I wuz toasted maaaate. I then called a number in Boston, knowing I'd get an answering message, just so's I could compare the voices and manner of speech. Spooked, I ventured a guess of her birthday, purposely going off by coupla days hoping I wouldn't be right. I was wrong, I was right, and it was a most familiar birthday. The rest of the evening, the American Chinese Actor didn't get to practice his Mandarin very much, while I continued observing Teenie. Cheryl the Beryl you are come back to haunt me in a most familiar fashion.


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