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Rubbish at gayness March 28, 2007

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Girls, you don’t know what you’re missing out on by me being in the gayers.

Though I might make a rubbish het too.

I am shit at decisions. Yesterday, I flew. A chap asked me to check one of his bags on for him so he wouldn’t go a gazillion kilos over his limit. I wrinkled my brow as that was the rudest thing I could think of at the time, but as we stood in the queue for 80 years together, and sort of hit it off, and after he’d showed me the contents of his bag, I said, yes, I’d check in his bag and felt naughtier than when I threw a rubber spider at Mr. C_ in second year juniors when I told the check-in gent that, yes, I had packed my own bag, no, no-one could have tampered with it and, oh no, no-one had asked me to check anything in on their behalf.

I’m now writing this from a Thai jail.

Not really.

Flying has become such a pain. I loathed it already. But all the security measures, queues, queue-tension, non-thrown-in expensive food and booze and the worry that I am about to die any second just make it that much worse.

Yesterday’s flight seemed to be going vaguely to plan. Apart from being asked to smuggle a drug-smuggler’s 20kg of narcotics in my name to Berlin, it was being relatively smooth. But the check-in queue snaked to the North Pole and back, and I hadn’t packed anything wintry, and by the time my smuggling pal and I got to the front of the queue, the word, “Berlin,” was already being hollered by the you’ve-got-to-get-a-move-on harridan. Then it was very visible queue-jumping to get through the striptease stage, much to the fury of some effusive Spaniards, and then dashing planewards, whereupon my smuggling pal and I took up our seats and got on with becoming best friends.

My pal was awfully nice. I’ve got a feeling he might be a megastar one day, if he isn’t already. A groovy musician – I’ve got a website I’m too scared to link to – and I was chuffed to bollocks at being able to keep up with a groovy type in conversation, which involved lying and saying, yes, actually I’m in the music business myself. Yes, I produce Madonna. Oh yes. She’s awfully nice, actually. Guy’s a pill.


“Ja, zis is Herr Kapitän spreching. Very many Entschuldigungs, aber it looks like ve’re going to have to sit on ze tarmac for an inexplicably long time. Ja, ve are slot-los.”

The smuggling musician and I got on with consolidating our friendship as we waited for our slot. “Elvis was an awful pain,” I went on. “I used to say to him, ‘Look, Elve, if you don’t stop all this drugging – the smuggler cast a furtive glance at his hand-luggage – you’re gonna end up croaking on the john.’ But he wouldn’t listen…”


“Ve are now slot-voll. Ve vill be taking adwantage of our wunderbaren slot in just a tickety-boo.”

“Bach was one of the trickier composers to manage,” I dribbled on. “…do you think we might get some free booze?”


“Ja, ladies and gentlemans. Your Kapitän Fritz-Felix noch einmal. Several, several Entschuldigungs, aber one of our computers is total kaputt and if we take adwantage of our slot, there is the possibility zat we all completely dead will be.”

“That Moses didn’t know a thing about music,” I glistened further.


“Ja, again your Kapitän, Graf Fritz-Felix von Koks, here. Ve have now ze computer-fixer on ze tarmac, aber zese stupid Englanders can’t even find ze ladder. God knows how ve managed to lose Tanganyika and Kamerun to zem. Zey really are dumm as Bohnenstroh. Not even a bit surprised zey cannot save ze penalty.”

Folk stood up. Wandered around. Switched their mobiles back on. There was talk of the flight being cancelled altogether. Clued-up passengers mentioned the Warsaw Convention and our entitlement to free booze. The no-frills airline staff fudged as best they could. Bunker spirit broke out and the other passengers were fast catching up on the smuggler and me on the getting-to-know-your-neighbours front.

And then a hive of activity. And dings and dongs galore and we whizzed off down the runway some hours behind schedule.

The smuggler and I and our handsome German neighbour got on to the thorny subject of how the fuck we were going to get home from the airport. There was talk of cabs. I said I was sure there were still going to be trains at 2 in the morning and my neighbours exchanged a knowing glance and then got on with their conversation back in the real world. They had mentally teamed off by the time we landed. But the handsome neighbour didn’t want to leave me stranded and, having done a bit of geographical survey-taking, soon had me paired up with an exhausted-looking Scottish woman who was heading in my direction.

And, darlings, just when I thought my hitting-it-off was done for the night, I only had to bloody go and do it all over again.

Now you may well say that the two bottles of non-free, non-Warsaw Convention wine had loosened my tongue, and perhaps hers, but we were best pals in seconds. I explained to my Scottish pal/fiancée, as if to an old friend, as they all stood waiting for their luggage and drugs to whizz round on the spinny thing, that I was slightly too tight to contemplate a 40-euro taxi-ride and was willing to hijack a train to save myself 37 euros 90 if necessary. She agreed with my logic and added that not only would she happily taxi with me if my train-search was fruitless but that she was willing to leave her husband and six children to spend the rest of her life with me – she was 97, mind you – and I, emboldened by my non-free wine, said that perhaps that was rushing things and, anyway, didn’t she know I was really a whoopsy and what if I was rubbish at the other with a woman and she’d say, ‘It was better with Angus’, and I’d be devastated and…

There were no trains.

The smuggler and the handsome German went off in their taxi. Scottish woman and I settled into ours to get on with some speed-dating.

And it made me think I’m rubbish at gayness. I mean, I can mince if strictly necessary and I know my way round a flagon of poppers and all the abbreviations and that the colour of the string attached to your key-ring means something, as does whichever pocket it’s dangling from – straight gents, if you’ve ever wondered why a stranger has come up to you on the street and said, “I see you’re into watersports,” now you know why – but I hit it off so much more easily with women than men.

Scottish woman and I hooted and chortled all the way to our bit of Berlin. I knew everything about her. Why she lived in London. That she was from near Edinburgh. She was in Berlin for this reason. She’d gone to Brazil after a man and, by the time she got there, he was already hooked up with someone else. She did this type of work. For some reason, I decided she was definitely a blogger – I thought she could be you, Marshypops, if you’d lied a bit about your family – and we had a whale of a time. And she knew why I was in Berlin. Love. Fate. The Cold War. The regular spiel.

We drew up at her hotel. By rights, I thought we should have carried on the fun and drunk till dawn in the hotel bar but she was here for work, and only for ten minutes, and it was a million o’clock. Instead, she got out of the cab, we said how nice it was to have met, didn’t exchange cards – I don’t have a card – and that was that, without so much as an introduction.

Still, I got the smuggler’s mobile number should anyone need to be put in touch with the drug-running fraternity.


1. narrowback - March 28, 2007

Ok, a that generated at least five guffaws and at this hour of the night that’s quite an accomplishment.

After having gone thru the experience of airline travel – and the difference between “discount” and “heritage” carriers is a wee one these days – resonated all too well. Plus I also was close to receiving a marriage proposal upon arrival at Tegel. An 80 year old female resident of pankow from my flight who literally ran me down in her effort to reach the sidewalk for a cigarette. When she got there and found that she was without a light and had to wait for my arrival. It all flowed from there.

Some years ago I had to explain to a to straight friend, newly moved to new york city – with a crew cut, a wardrobe preference for 501 levis and a leather jacket why men on the 7th ave. subway kept staring at him.

But “Rubbish” at gayness”? Bah! I say. I can’t speak for berlin or even europe at large but you’d easily pass in any venue here in the states.

2. mountpenguin - March 28, 2007

You didn’t have much luck with your trains then… Surely there must have been an night bus, which – via two other buses and a 40 minute wait for a connection in Mahlsdorf – would have got you home just before the S-Bahn started running.

3. Geoff - March 28, 2007

Flying is traumatic at the best of times, even without that kind of delay. Although last time I flew it didn’t help that I managed to drunkenly lose my passport and boarding card in the departure lounge half an hour before my flight was due to leave, only to discover that helpfully none of the airport staff spoke a word of English – and my Spanish (I was in Mexico) is even worse than my rubbish German.

Being rubbish at gayness is something to be proud of. Looking at the state of most of the ‘proper’ gays in London I’m quite glad I never got the hang of it properly.

Oh – And I’ve just discovered I might have to come to Berlin for work next week. I’m quite excited, which is a word I rarely associate with my job.

4. marshaklein - March 28, 2007

Aww! I wish she HAD been me (although going to Brazil in pursuit of a man sounds very daring and glamourous (sp?) and, therefore, very unlike me.) I should also add that I am not 97, I am less than half that, although, quite frequently, I feel at least twice as old.

I sometimes think I am rubbish at being a straight woman and that I would make a better gay man.

5. William Thirteen - March 28, 2007

are you really into watersports? you yellow dawg you!

6. chendaberry - March 28, 2007

hahaha, love it! will you go out with me once you’ve finished with the scottish bird? oh yes and sorry not to have posted before. i went off blogs for a bit and have read the new one before, but in a sneaky and stealthy way without leaving a message.

7. pleite - March 28, 2007

Chen, yes, I will. And we can have one of those relationships with no wrongness – as my ex-mother-in-law calls the big S – and then go on Oprah and you’d say you’d never realised I wasn’t a woman. Or something like that. No, actually, the Oprah-version I saw – god, it’s tricky typing with a fag hanging out of your mouth – was a married couple and the wife hadn’t realised her husband was a woman until after she died. “We only had sex in the dark,” the merry widow explained.

William, do you know, I once went on a watersports holiday – nothing to do with wee-wee at all – and it was HEAVEN. And I am the least sporty person in the world. I was 17 and it was a school trip to the south of France, and, unless you’re 36, 17 is quite a fun age, and all the instructors were so amazingly beautifully gorgeous and strapping and topless. (The women weren’t topless, sorry.) And they were English. And, not surprisingly, you didn’t see strapping tanned folk in England much. So it was a double whammy. And we canoed in the sea – there was a different word for it in the sea, though – and wind-surfed and sailed – I didn’t make the yacht-like thing, but smaller, capsize once, which was annoying, as it would have been heaven to be rescued from the swirling waves by my instructor – and it was all heaven. Then, after the watersports holiday, my school organised a fisting trip. Imagine! The parents weren’t happy. But it was part of the syllabus.

Marsha, don’t become a gay man. Your children would find it groovy for a week and then hate you. To be honest, my thing of hitting it off with women is fairly standard in the scheme of things, though, isn’t it? Gay men and straight women are a famed combination. (A female friend’s mother once told her it was time to get off the gay scene.) And my Scottish pal was in her 40s, as we even got to that stage in our high-speed conversation, and she looked 2. OK, a bit taller, and she could walk without running, and she wasn’t wearing a romper-suit, but she looked 2. I can’t distinguish Scottish accents still, unless it’s a mega-tough Glasgow one, but hers – she was from south of Edinburgh – was so deliciously lovely. Maybe I need to get in better touch with my Celtic roots.

Geoff, hurrah for being rubbish at gayness! The only time I was ever THE thing in a gay place was when I wandered into a bar aged about 16. Let’s start Rubbish Gay Pride. There’s a blog called Rubbish Gays, I think. I’ll check it out… And when will you be in Berlin? DRINK! Or rather, DRINK? Say it’s not just Tuesday, as I’m busy that day, but otherwsie, so DRINK(!?). (I would, out of politeness, say coffee (!?) but I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone for a coffee in my life.)

Penguin, you’re right that there was a bus going to somewhere ending in -ow (though not Pankow, leider) that I’d never heard of, and then god knows how I’d have made it from there. So a taxi it was. And do you know my fiancée was so nice that she paid practically the whole bill! She could claim it back, she explained, and would have been taking a taxi anyway. See, we were meant for each other!

Narrowback, thank you. I was once actually insulted by a loathsome bitchy queen in Paris for, I presume, being a rubbish gay. He was obscenely good-looking and I couldn’t think of a way to insult him back. So I didn’t… But I like the sound of your old woman from Pankow. Once, the ex and I were in a supermarket in London, just queueing at the till. In those days – perhaps still now – the car park used to give you two hours to do your shopping and get back out of there. A posh, oldish lady asked if she could jump ahead of us in the queue as she was about to run out of time. “I was just so desperate for a gin and tonic,” she explained nicely. It was about 11am.

8. Geoff - March 28, 2007

Bah. I’ve been misled by much Dutch colleagues. The meeting is in Hamburg (which I’ve never been to. Is it nice?) not Berlin. Otherwise I’d have loved to meet you for a drink (definitely not a coffee. What would the point be??). Hmm. Sorry about that. Although I was thinking of popping over for a weekend in the summer anyway, so maybe then?

Yes, there used to be a Rubbish Gays blog. It doesn’t get updated very often now though.

9. mountpenguin - March 28, 2007

Those dastardly Dutch. Hamburg is a perfectly nice place for a day or two, especially if it’s having the same fine spring weather we are enjoying here in Berlin.

10. Daggi - March 28, 2007

Even I’ve read Rubbish Gays once or twice. But it was all mincingly-obvious stuff, written possibly by (for?)the cast of that mid-90s Scottish trolly-dolly sitcom “The High Life”. Do you know many men who walk around with yellow neckerchiefs in their back pockets? When I was in the Scouts, our scarves were red. That’s one uniform I won’t be wearing in the Motzstraße late of an evening. And I should change the shoelaces in that pair of Doctor Martens I bought cheaply on ebay before I visit my friend in the Gleimstraße. They were yellow, but the advert came without the almost obligatory (it seems) comment that they were “often worn in the scene smiley smiley etc.” (smilies being the internet-age equivalent of “a nod’s as good as a wink, eh, eh; and somewhat quicker and easier to type at that).

11. Daggi - March 28, 2007

Also, BiB, this might be one for you:


30.03.07 Festsaal Kreuzberg
amSTARt + Suomi Rocks! präsentieren

Marko Haavisto
Haavisto ist in seiner Heimat Finnland ein Star. Er schrieb die besten Lieder für Kaurismäkis Film Der Mann Ohne Vergangenheit und ist erstmalig live in Deutschland zu erleben…

DJ Lumi & Jorma
Rock ‘n Roll-Raketen, Humppa-Hammer, Tango und Pop-Perlen

12. leon - March 29, 2007

I’m dressing on the gay end of my wardrobe today, having teamed a florid shirt with a cashmere sweater and some narrow ‘dress’ trousers (i.e. those ones with a satin stripe up the seam, and buttons for braces, that make you look like a particularly dissipated cavalry officer circa 1850).

Still, it’s better than letting your girlfriend choose (or indeed buy) all your clothes like most men my age. Is wearing yellow some kind of internationally accepted signal of intent, then?

13. Marsha Klein - March 29, 2007

In her 40s? From south of Edinburgh? My God! It WAS me!
I believe the lovely Nigella Lawson’s late first husband, John Diamond once described her as a “gay man trapped in a woman’s body”. If I could choose to look like anyone on the planet, I’d choose Nigella. Don’t suppose that proves anything though, does it?

14. William Thirteen - March 29, 2007

watersports holidays and fisting trips – school certainly has changed since i was a wee lad!

15. mountpenguin - March 29, 2007

As a mediocre heterosexualist I appear to have lead a very sheltered life. There have however been one or two incidents which I shall now need to review with regards to the clothing I was wearing at the time.

Do I really need, or indeed want to know what a “flagon of poppers” is?

16. bowleserised - March 29, 2007

Your single delayed flight was far more amusing than all four delayed flights that RFM and I took this week…

17. daggi - March 29, 2007

mediocre heterosexualist

Isn’t that known as “metrosexualism” these days?

18. Valerie in San Diego - March 29, 2007

What a hoot of a read. Sounds like a good time was had by all, really.

Dancing on both sides of the aisle though I do, I still haven’t managed to experience being a gay man. That would require additional effort, as they say. I vote for hitting it off with everyone, and getting it off with whomever turns your crank, but hey…

19. MountPenguin - March 29, 2007

@daggi: oh no, as I explained to Mrs. Penguin, who wasn’t aware of the term, a metrosexual would be someone like our neighbour, who seems to have an exquisite taste in fashion and training shoes, but straight. Or like David Beckham, apparently. Not to be confused with a metrophiliac of course, which is someone who gains sexual gratification from underground trains.

20. pleite - March 29, 2007

Valerie, ‘dancing on both sides of the aisle’. Marvellous. Haven’t heard that one before. Our French cousins have a few good expressions. For batting for both sides, I think they say, ‘à voile et à vapeur,’ and, when I was just a slip of a thing in Paris and used to listen to an absobloodylutely hilarious gay radio station, the term for gay men who did, ahem, both, was ‘recto-verso’. It was an extremely fun journey. I was buoyed up by it for ages.

Daggi, is Becks still the ultimate metrosexual? I’m not sure he deserves to have terms established in his honour, though he’s probably a perfectly nice husband and father. And with a pout like that, Posh could easily twitch curtains in Pankow. And I have to say I don’t know any hanky-wearers, though perhaps they are hiding their hankies under a bushel… AND, see you at that concert tomorrow? Could be fun. And, I hope, wouldn’t cost a fortune.

B., four out of four delayed? Bad luck. But I hope Morocco was heaven, even if it did involve having to fly through Luton. Did you manage to escape the airport for your overnight stop or were you obliged to stay in the Luton Hilton?

Penguin, now that you have been outed as a metrosexual, I think I have to smash your innocence as regards flagons of poppers, though I am NOT recommending you indulge. Poppers are amyl nitrate (oh, it might be nitrite, according to Wiki), and are sold in little bottles. Gay men (though others too, perhaps) are not unknown to sniff the chemical as it gives a bit of a rush and has certain muscle-relaxant properties, if ya hear what I’m sayin’. Now I feel very naughty indeed.

William, OK, I admit it, the fisting trip was a fib. Mind you, judging by our school organist’s – no, really – subsequent paedophilia conviction, perhaps he’d have liked to organise one.

But Marsha, you (as Marsha Klein) and Nigella do look rather alike to me. I’ve googled Nigella and she is rather a babe, I have to admit. Is she all Nigella, or is any of her plastic/silicone? And is she nice? I think she’s shot to fame after my day, a bit, so I don’t know whether I’m meant to love ‘er or hate ‘er.

Leon, I think we’re being wardrobe twins today, though my shirt is plain. I’m too scared to wear floral/florid shirts at the mo. Maybe now that the clocks have gone forward and it’s heavenly weather again, I’ll drag the one floral item I own out of mothballs. I don’t know about yellow. Perhaps if it’s dangling from your pockets, folk might get the wrong message.

Geoff, I almost never go further than the end of the street and have, inevitably, never darkened Hamburg’s door(s), but I’ve heard good things about it. Yes, come to Berlin in the summer – I’m sure I’ll be rooted to the spot in front of my computer – and we’ll drink non-coffee galore. And be rubbish together.

21. MountPenguin - March 29, 2007

Nitrates? Sounds like something that would be good for the garden. In fact I’m sure that’s Mrs. Penguin has been feeding the benjaminius figtree thing she rescued from the Biomüll recently.

Nice to know I’m not the only one slightly unfamiliar with Ms. Lawson. Is she really the daughter of Nigel? I can certainly see where she got the bosom from.

22. pleite - March 29, 2007

She is, indeed, Nigel’s daughter. But do you mean he was famed for his huge bosom? I think poppers would kill most plants although they were, allegedly, originally used as a medicine.

23. MountPenguin - March 29, 2007

Well, not exactly famed, but my memory serves me images of a well-fed stomach delivering the budget, which I generally associate with a pronounced the man-bosom.

Aha, I am confusing nitrites with nitrates. That would explain why the benjamin was gyrating around the room trying to molest the cat, and also why I was not advised to take O-level chemistry.

24. pleite - March 29, 2007

God, I was pants at Chemistry. In the third year secondary Chemistry exam, Jason O_ gave me his paper to copy from, and I passed. Dropped it as soon as I could though. My U in Physics O-Level is still my most important scientific ‘qualification’.

25. Daggi - March 30, 2007

I can’t believe anyone ever does this colour-of-string/hanky thing; the bootlaces are a bit more believable, at least where “white laces” means “white supremacist” if you go by the people and the rest of the clothes they are wearing when I have to walk past in Kaiser’s when they complain that the sauerkraut’s sold out yet there are still “Asia-Frühlings-Rollen” in the freezer. Not sure if that says anything about their sexual preferences. Sadism and the killing of foreigners followed by orgasm probably.

Finland: see email…

26. pleite - March 30, 2007

Daggi, Finland, splendid!

Daggi, white supremacist white laces, Kaiser’s (with or without entertaining till-nutter), not-splendid!

27. Daggi - March 30, 2007

Is he still there, the till-nutter?
Or have they moved him to the nut-department?

28. bowleserised - March 30, 2007

My mother got very worried when I was a teenager and my Granny gave me one pearl earring (she’d lost the other). Mum was convinced that if I went out wearing one earring I WOULD BE CONFUSED WITH A GAY. But she couldn’t quite say that out loud.

By the way, your flight that was delayed because of computer stuff? When you landed, did the plane smack heavily into the tarmac, even more heavily thanthe average budget flight? Because that’s what happened with *our* flight which was delayed because of computers, and we wondered if that was the reason.

29. MountPenguin - March 30, 2007

Ah, if it was computers which were the problem (I am eminiently qualified to talk about this subject), then it was probably due to the onboard computers having been upgraded to the new Windows Vista, which is more demanding on the hardware, which causes the co-pilot’s Freecell session to run more slowly, so when on landing the pilot says “Pavel, pull up dammit!”, it takes that much longer to switch to the main flight screen (“Your anti-virus software has been successfully updated. Click ‘OK’ to reboot the system”).

30. pleite - March 31, 2007

B., I think Penguin’s solution sounds very authoritative, so let’s decide it was that. I was minorly beschwipst by the time we touched down so might not have noticed bumpiness, if there was any.

My father was not pleased when I had my ear pierced. (Can’t remember if I did the gay ear or not.)

Daggi, I hope he’s still entertaining away. I never get all the way down there any more, exiled as I am to Ruislip for all eternity.

31. MountPenguin - April 1, 2007

A gay ear?

Which Kaisers are we talking about here? The one in the Arcaden?

32. bowleserised - April 1, 2007

Yes, my mum was upset when I had both ears pierced four times and then my nose. God alone knows what her garbled version of sexuality signifiers made of that. She must have thought I was advertising all sorts of things.

Planewise, we actually hit the tarmac incredibly hard and were thrown out of our seats – RFM (who is not nearly such a sissy as I) said it was the worst landing he had ever experienced. Mount Penguin – I will never get on a plane again!

33. pleite - April 1, 2007

B., gosh, thrown out of seats. My head once smacked the bit of hard plastic overhead from a rough landing. I despise flying. There we are. Train holidays. It’s the way forward. Although my mother wants me to go with her to New Zealand this winter, which I’d like to do, in a bonkers way, and there just simply aren’t trains to NZ (and hardly any in NZ, either). I wonder if it’s still doable by ship. Anyway, I’m sure I can’t afford it.

I think my sister once had a nose-piercing which, when she discarded it, left a big, moley zit or scar or some sort of disfigurement on her nose which would have been perfect if she’d ever needed to play a witch in panto at short notice and the make-up people were on strike. But she was never called upon to do so, I don’t think. Glad to see you haven’t been similarly disfigured.

Penguin, oh yes, there’s a gay ear and a straight ear. If you were to decide today that you fancied having just one ear pierced, and went for the right one, that would instantly make you gay. Oddly, this piece of mythology has made its way to Russia too. One of the ruffians I worked with, who noticed the residue of a hole in some ear or other, said that I’d be a ‘гомик’ (‘gomik’ = woofter) if I’d just had a right-ear hole. All very complicated.

…and yes, in the Arcaden. I hope he’s still there. He’s so entertaining. I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere on here before that once, when he heard me and a pal speaking English, he gave us a spontaneous German lesson at the till. “Repeat after me,” he ordered. “Kassenbeleg.”

34. MountPenguin - April 2, 2007

Aha, I think I know the person you mean. Haven’t seen him around for a while (a while being at least 18 months or so), so I presume his long-suffering colleagues have buried the bound and gagged corpse down the side of the S-Bahn cutting.

35. pleite - April 2, 2007

Oh, I hope some serious, dreary types didn’t complain about him (although I sometimes used to avoid his till, if I wasn’t in the mood). I once saw him vaguely dressed up, on his bike, with flowers, cycling up and down Kastanienallee, looking up at windows above. I don’t know if he just simply couldn’t remember where his Juliet lived, or whether he was just bonkersly looking for a random lady to hurl flowers at. He might, indeed, have been quite a nutter.

36. GreatSheElephant - April 10, 2007

ooh. I’m going to New Zealand this winter.

I’m shocked that this man made you smuggle drugs and then he didn’t even offer to pay for your taxi.

37. pleite - April 10, 2007

GSE, the young drug-smugglers of today, eh? He did try to buy me coffee or a sandwich or something but as he was 12 I was too embarrassed to accept. He also suggested we take a taxi together – don’t know if he was planning to cough up – but we really did live in not at all the same direction so it would have been forcing the friendship a tad.

Have you found cheapish flights to NZ? I did some fantasy-flight-surfing yesterday and couldn’t see anything for under 1500 euros. ANYWAY, you can tell me all this live in two weeks’ time… (But do comment before if you feel like it, of course!)

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