Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Asian Encounters and Heroic Diplomacy.

I stood in a queue today next to a woman who looked vaguely North or East Asian. She was wearing a splendidly colourful woolly hat with dangly bits at the sides.

‘I like your hat,’ I said.

‘Thank you,’ she replied, smiling sweetly.

‘Where did you get it?’

‘I made it. That’s what I do; I make hats.’

My next question should have been ‘And where do you sell them?’, but instead I was gripped by the strongest urge to ask ‘Are you from Tibet?’ I didn’t, of course, because I’ve learned to be diplomatic when talking to women wearing strange hats.

*  *  *

And on that Chinese note (by obvious extension) I finally came face to face with the Lady Coco in her money changing establishment today. I noticed that she was wearing a dress ring on the third finger of her left hand.

‘Are you engaged,’ I asked.

‘Yes. I’m getting married in May.’

I sobbed inwardly, of course, having held the remote – and one might say ‘inconceivable’ – notion that the Lady Coco might be my passport to a closer understanding of traditional Chinese culture. ’Tis evidently not to be, but I was a brave boy.

‘That’s nice,’ I muttered with conviction, and continued to pay the £5 cheque into my Building Society account. Am I a hero, or what?

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