Friday, May 28, 2010

Ooh, yeah, just like that....

Usually, the sensation that Fate is toying with us is not pleasant.

But, just occasionally.....

At the start of this week I was on the brink of taking on a book editing project - 250,000 words to be re-written (oh yes - this wasn't just a straightforward proof-reading gig: the English was absolutely abysmal) in the space of 10 or 12 days.

On Tuesday morning, as I was heading out the door to an early morning teaching engagement at a university, I learned that this job had fallen through. I was, on balance, rather relieved. The promised fee had been enticing, but I really hadn't fancied putting the whole of the rest of my life on hold for two weeks. However, this 'good news' was more than offset by the unhappy discovery that I had somehow lost my wallet - and with it, my last 1,700 kuai.

That evening - hurrah! - I found the missing wallet again (it had been hiding in plain sight all along; don't you hate it when that happens?). Now, you see, I had written it off, resigned myself to it being gone for good, accepted that I was going to have to stay home and subsist on instant noodles for a few days until I next earned some cash-in-hand. So, suddenly recovering it was like being handed FREE MONEY. I felt morally obligated to rush out and spend as much of it as possible at once.

My plan, though, was to indulge in a brief, intense binge at 12 Square Metres, and then head home around 9 or 10pm. I was knackered after a long - and stressful - day and a poor night's sleep, and was desperately in need of an early night. Also, I had been hoping to be able to get up at 2.45 the next morning (4 or 5 hours' sleep? more than enough for me these days!) to catch England's World Cup warm-up game against Mexico. Of course, I wasn't completely confident about when the match kicked off (let alone if it would be shown on the wretched CCTV5), because I hadn't had time to check on any of the sports news websites. And I wasn't convinced that I didn't need a good lie-in rather more than I needed to be reminded how dismal our prospects for this World Cup are.

Nevertheless, that was my basic blueprint for the evening. Of course, it was the Chairman who had told me that the match was on Wednesday morning - and he is notoriously the most unreliable fellow in the world. However, I would likely not have discovered his error had I not got into casual conversation with another Brit in the bar, who happened to mention that the game had been played the previous evening. I was annoyed and disappointed, though hardly surprised at this news; also, a little relieved that I could now enjoy a restorative lie-in the next day, and didn't have to worry about leaving the bar quite so early.

However, I'd already wound one or two tequila slammers and a whisky into me, so was starting to feel quite floaty. And I was feeling deeply, deeply exhausted after all the shit I'd had to put up with over the previous few days. So, I thought I would just stay for one or two more drinks.

And so it was that, about an hour later, around 10pm, I felt that I'd had enough and was trying to ask for my tab. The bar had just started to get a little busy, so I was waiting patiently while the new customers were served. The wait grew into several minutes.... during which time I started to think about maybe having one more drink, for the road. And then.....

The most dazzlingly sexy Russian woman entered the bar and proceeded to flirt with me for the next three hours (no, not that kind of Russian; put those dirty minds away; she was a respectable entrepreneur, here on a business trip). Yes, I am rather smitten. We exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses. And she's moving here later this year.

And I would never have met her if...... I hadn't lost that editing job, found my wallet again, got the date of the football match wrong, and taken so long to get my tab. Under any other combination of circumstances, I probably wouldn't have gone to the bar at all on Tuesday night. Even when I did find myself there (and so blissfully disinhibited!), I might so easily have missed her... perhaps by just a few minutes, or seconds.

Spooky! It's almost enough to make you think that maybe everything does happen "for a reason".


Jeremiah said...

Things don't go wrong, they simply happen.
~Jacob Ghitis~

Froog said...

I had thought you meant Jake Gittes (Chinatown), but perhaps not?

JES said...

If you told me she was a sand artist, my joy on your behalf would be complete!

Froog said...

It's a possibility, I suppose. We didn't get around to discussing 'hobbies'.

She definitely has the cheekbones thing going on.