Sunday, November 16, 2008

I guessed Norwegian!

Last night, I was standing around outside my new favourite hangout, the 12 Square Metres bar at the bottom of Nanluoguxiang, with a couple of friends who were having a smoke break (one of the big attractions of the place for me is its strict no-smoking policy; my throat doesn't get along well with high volumes of cigarette smoke in confined spaces).

All of a sudden, 4 drop-dead gorgeous - Scandinavian-looking - young women approached us to ask for directions to Ned's, the little Australian bar a few hundred yards further up the road.

My companions seemed to think that I had established a good rapport with their ringleader, and taunted me that I really should have offered to escort them to their destination.... or should have given chase, to renew the conversation as soon as possible after their departure. My defence for my asexual torpor was: "They are too young. They are too beautiful. And they outnumber us. In fact, since you two guys are 'married', they outnumber me - rather badly!"

An hour and a half or so later, when we were finally quitting 12 Square, we ran into them again: we happened to step outside just as they were again walking past, this time in the other direction, returning from their visit to Ned's. Another minute or so of flirty conversation ensued: tourists, climbing The Wall tomorrow, dawn start, needed an early night. Damn!

They were indeed Norwegian, which had been my first guess. I don't know how I come to have this uncanny ability. Well, two uncanny abilities, really. The ability to divine someone's nationality - very quickly, at a distance. And the ability to make a favourable impression on women I am never going to see again.

Cursed by the gods.....

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