Archives for posts with tag: dating

It has been brought to my attention that the way I spend my days here is tipical of a wealthy HK Tai Tai (housewife). My routine consists of sightseeing or acupuncturist in the morning, meeting up with friend over her lunch break, shopping in malls in the afternoon, evening activities such as Chinese opera or fortune teller, dinner and/or drinks. Therefore I am meditating a career shift to become a professional HK trophy husband. I am fully convinced I have the stamina it takes to be a hardcore one. So I am going to place this ad in the personal section of local newspapers:

Hard working NGO professional seeks celibate HK resident with seizeable disposable income and yacht club membership for limited partnership venture. Fluent in 4 languages and with proven track record of charming potential Cantonese in-laws, will trade career for life of outings, eating, shopping and shmoozing. Can also manage philanthropic interests of said HK resident and blend in very well with interior design of duplex apartment overlooking the harbour. Willing to keep silent and look pretty during house receptions. If interested, please send CV, photo, notarised copy of bank accounts’ statements and writing sample (two pages max, single spaced).

image

Advertisements

image

My friend and I went out for brunch this Sunday in Soho, a very trendy neighborhood in Hong Kong. We were sitting by the window, so in addition to enjoying some great eggs benedicts with salmon, we also got to do some great people watching.

What I realised thanks to this gastro-anthropological experiment is that (male) expats in Hong Kong tend to be of the fit, groomed and anglosaxon variety, walking about passionatly in love with their significant other or worn by their Hong Kongese girlfriends (or occasionally boyfriends) almost like a status quo accessory.

While my friend told me that the expats of the ‘sleezball I have drunk all of my free-lance money’ persuasion tend to hang out in the cheaper bars in a different part of town, she also agreed that the expats in HK tend to be of the `eye candy` sort and she confessed than when she was a child she thought all white people were beautiful (she has since then lived for long periods in Europe and America so she has been disabused quickly of this stereotype). I also thought about how I usually take care of my appearance in Cairo when going for brunch  (let’s say casual-not-so-chic).

All of the sudden I felt terribly under-dressed and made a mental note that once back in the West I need to step up my game, go to the gym, lose the anarchic hair cut end and the whole mumbo jumbo if I am ever to get a date again. Last time I felt like this was a year ago in a gay club in Beirut – and I thought none could outdo the gays and the Beirutis with their dress-to-impress psychosis. Well, I had forgotten about Asia I guess.

Also, on the subject of natural and man-made beauty: this is the view of Hong Kong’s eponimous fragrant harbour at night from the Peak.

I know I should probably take the fact that I seem to have acquired a stalker as a sign of validation. Like buying your first house and learning how to shave (hopefully things you accomplish in reverse order). I always knew that beauty is in the eye of the repressed closeted man. But for the love of god, if I have to have a stalker, could I at least have a stalker with proper email etiquette? Call me a grammar fascist,  but decent writing skills matter to me. Because you know, once that sms or email is sent, it’s like diamonds. It’s forever.

So dear stalker, here’s the hitchhiker’s guide to email stalking correspondence, boiled down for you especially in three easy points:

  • If you want to make a point YOU DONT HAVE TO USE ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT MAKES PEOPLE ANXIOUS AND THEY MIGHT END UP SWALLOWING A WHOLE BOTTLE OF XANEX. AND THAT’S KINDA LETHAL YOU KNOW? I like your vintage taste in terms of communication and how you would like your emails to look like good old-fashioned telegrams, but please unless a nuclear reactor is about to explode could you use normal low case letters just like us commoners?
  • If you really have to use all caps, CAN YOU AT LEAST USE PUNCTUATION BECAUSE WHEN YOU RAMBLE ON FOR A WHOLE PARAGRAPH TALKING NONSENSE ABOUT YOUR DAY AND HOW YOU LIKED OUR LATEST REPORT IT DRIVES ME CRAZY I KNOW IT IS A NICE DAY AND WE SHOULD GO FOR A DRINK WHAT DO YOU SAY I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE BUSY BUT FRIDAY WORKS FOR ME I WILL CALL YOU TUESDAY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY JUST IN CASE YOU MIGHT FORGET AND IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME TO PICK UP MY CALLS I WILL KEEP CALLING YOU AND TEXTING YOU UNTIL YOUR PHONE MELTS.

  • Since you are not Virgina Wolf or James Joyce, I suggest you avoid flow of consciousness as your email narrative style. I would likewise avoid Proustians sentences of over 8 lines with no punctuation because you do not sound like a repressed literary genius of a Frenchman – you just sound like a crazy person. Syntax is not your thing habibi. Try woodwork or sudoku.

Finally, if you are running out of excuses to see me, please avoid inviting me for a celebratory drink on the occasion of the birth of your second child. Really. Even if my self-esteem was at historic minimum, I would never be able to date someone who is married with kids and cannot write proper emails.

Not yours – not even in a million years

R

So, I have been meaning to write something about this before but never quite got round it. I have been leaving abroad now for 7 of the past 10 years. Inevitably, I have gone out with a number of people who are not Italian like myself (I’ll leave it to you to guess how many. If you get it right, I’ll buy you a yearly subscription to the Reader’s Digest. Hint: It’s less than a 3 digit number).

I am always slightly irked by the reaction of some gay people I have met and/or have gone out on dates with. Because Italian men are usually associated with a number of (positive?) stereotypes, I am often under the impression that I am being placed somewhere on the spectrum of potential Italian gay man stereotypes which spans roughly as follows: suave latin man with hairy chest and golden cross meets elitist european meets queer fashionista meets mama’s boy.

Of course self-righteous me is quite horrified at the idea of my ‘self’ being compressed and pigeonholed into a cliché, although I guess it is normal that people try to decipher your identity through some cognitive shortcuts such as stereotypes. I have actually done that to others a number of times without noticing.

Anyways, I was a LGBT mixer (or, as I like to call it, a fruit salad event) in the US last week. I had to go through a bit of the usual Italian Gay Manometer business but in addition, thanks to having survived the Egyptian revolution, I get to add an extra layer of revolutionary je ne sais pas quoi to the equation. At one point I felt people looked at me as if I am some kind of war veteran, almost asking me to lift my shirt so that they could behold the scars and shrapnel wounds. Maybe it’s just me reading too much into it but still I tried my best to explain to people that I witnessed 99% of the revolution watching Al Jazeera in my living room and that I am no suave latin lover meets Che Guevara meets Elton John.

When I feel like people fail to see me as a person and that I am being repackaged into a stereotype, I comfort myself by thinking that this stuff happens all the time to so many people (a friend of mine complains about the frequent emasculation of the Asian male – and do not get me started on the not so positive stereotypes some of my Russian girlfriends complain about).  In fact, I think this poem by Palestinian-American artist Suheir Hammad sums up what usually goes through my mind in such circumstances: