Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Roll Call

Jeez, a lot of people have quit China this year.  It's starting to feel very lonely here.

My favourite work partner Glamorous Vicky - after a lot of vacillating about it, and spending quite a bit of time away over the previous year - finally left for good this summer.  That was a serious blow to the wallet as well as the heart.

Dr Manhattan, last year's premier drinking companion, went back to the States early this year.  Long-time American drinking buddies Nick O'Pix, Animator Ben, and Tennessee Tom have all now left too.  As has Ben the Jerry, a Pool Bar regular for three or four years.  I fear my glamorous Pool Partner may soon be following suit.  And New Dad is about to relocate to Hong Kong - which could leave me without any regular competition on the tables.

The field of romance has become a desert for me as well: not only did Madame X, the object of a three-and-half-year thwarted infatuation, head home early this year, but so did my intended Replacement Crush (who decided she didn't like it here in The Jing, and quit less than half-way through her contract).  And the English Rose - the first of my (many!) thwarted crushes out here (and still a friend, despite the damage her Freeze Ray did to my heart) - is finally on her way too, after more than seven years.

In the world of music, top drummer and music promoter Jon Campbell, laidback bassist Pierre Billiard, dazzling guitar virtuoso Ekber Ebliz (though at least he should be coming back one day), and swoonsomely lovely singer-songwriter Daisy Sweetgrass all left us.

And on the bar scene, we lost Ryan Johnston, founder of The Brick in Shuangjing (and creator of the best chilli fries in town), Jackson Bai ("The Barman", one of my oldest Chinese friends here; he moved to Shanghai), Clément, the wonderfully dudely French barman from Salud; and Big Nige - the bestest barman in the world! - has departed from 12 Square Metres (at least he's not leaving China, but he is moving out of Beijing, and we're unlikely to see much of him in the bar any more).  My friend JK, the proprietor of 12 SqM, is about to head home too; we hope to see him back eventually, but family matters necessitate an extended, perhaps indefinite stay in Oz.  And the most entertaining of this year's 12 SqM 'regulars', cool German biker The Black Rider and sassy Yank football-lover (that's football as in football, English Premier League variety, rather than the American gridiron game) Sister Surly, have departed for their homelands as well.  Boo.

Two more of my oldest friends out here, KP and DD, are threatening to leave soon.

I need to get out and meet some new people.... (before my address book shrivels to a husk!).


el said...

Wait, wait, wait - both Nige and Zef are gone for good?? Oh. That's sad.

Froog said...

Well, not gone 'for good', I hope. But 'gone for a long time', yes.

I feel a big empty space inside my chest...