Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Worst Thing.....


I’m pretty pleased to report that I haven’t (knowingly) kissed any prostitutes since my last update. That last incident was something of a precedent. Those of you who know me best will know that I’m never afraid to say hello to someone I’m interested in. And, when you meet a lot of people, inevitably, some of them will turn out to be crazy. I do actually meet a lot of normal girls in-between, but normal girls don’t give particularly interesting stories.

I met Lani online, and we chatted on the phone and decided to meet up. She's 28, a graphic designer, very personable, and likes to dance. We had a nice time, but we both agreed that we didn’t feel anything in terms of intimate chemistry, so we agreed to just be friends.

Nice girl. Not a particularly interesting story.

On the other hand, one of my best friends met an African-american girl who he thought I would get on well with. He gave me her number, and we texted for a while before I called her. She heard my english accent. She hung up on me because she didn’t believe that I was black.

“YOU ARE 100% NOT A BLACK MAN!!!” *click*

I just stared at my phone. I really didn’t know how to come back from that.

Crazy girl. Interesting story.

Now, an unfortunate stereotype is that white Americans are stupid. I see it as a sign of true progress and integration that there are black Americans who do their best to join the whole stupid act.

On a not unrelated issue, Australia is noted to be a place with not stellar relations between races. In particular, indigenous people and those from the Middle East have a history of being treated particularly badly. I remember being here as a medical student 10 (!)  years ago, and meeting a few idiots, which re-enforced the reputation. But then, you meet idiots everywhere, and I have to say that, since working here, I’ve encountered no more idiots than I have anywhere else in the world. In general, I’ve been very impressed with the tolerance and acceptance that you find virtually everywhere in Australia. Even within that 10 year interval, the whole country seems to be much more multicultural, and most people are perfectly fine with it. It’s good to know that real progress can be made within your lifetime.

Now, it being a long time since my last update, quite a lot has happened. Most significantly, was the rugby world cup. It is typical for anyone from England to absolutely hate Australian sports teams, but I’ve actually developed quite an affinity for Australia since being here. I worked with one of the Wallabies in the emergency department last year. Luke Inman quit international rugby for a career in sports medicine. I both commended him, and thought he was crazy as well. I remember speaking to him and thinking “You’re actually…..quite….articulate….!”
This was in stark contrast to the majority of the players that I met in New Zealand. I loved playing there, and I did make some good friends, but if I’m brutally honest, a lot of the people I played with and against weren’t the smartest on earth. Some of them were smart. Some of them were NOT.

England went into last years competition in good form, so I bought tickets to see them in their quarter final against France.

The day after, I was in the hotel lift, and three guys entered. There was a silence, which I broke by saying

“I take it you’re England fans as well”

There was a disappointed laugh.

I’ve often said that the good thing about growing up supporting sport in England is that you get so used to losing that it’s not actually that big a deal.

As a spectator, my experience of rugby in New Zealand can be summarized in a Facebook altercation I had with on of my salsa acquaintances from NZ:

[30 mins after NZ won the final]

Me: It's the worst thing that could have happened to world rugby........

        Debbie Fearon Big raspberry to u....

Victor Uwagboe I guess there was no winning- 4 years of whinging, or 4 years of gloating.... :-/
Derrick Tin or if the Brits won... 400 years of gloating!

Victor Uwagboe ‎2003 is a distant memory. England were deserved No.1 then, but are far from it, now.

Victor Uwagboe Having lived in NZ and experienced the sheer arrogance the kiwis have in rugby, this will only make it worse...
Marie-Louise Hudson Double *Raspbery* to you Victor !! Dislike your comments a LOT!
Victor Uwagboe  Ah, Marie-Louise. I used to be a MASSIVE All Blacks fan. I could do the Haka. While I always wanted England to win, I never wanted NZ to lose. Then I moved to NZ in 2004. I love the country, and the people. But 3 years of statements like "the only team that can beat NZ are the NZ reserves” gradually eroded my love of the ABs to the pint where I just can’t stand them. Kiwis are beautiful people, but there is an ugliness that emerges when it comes to rugby. Most of them can’t see it, but everyone else can. I don’t expect you to like my statements, but I stand by them. Enjoy your win. Maybe one day you’ll do it without home advantage ;)he only team that can beat NZ are the NZ reserves" gradually eroded my love of the ABs to the point where I just can't stand them. Kiwis are beautiful people, but there is an ugliness that emerges whenever it comes to rugby. Most of them can't see it, but everyone else can. I don't expect you to like my statements, but I stand by them. Enjoy your win. Maybe one day you'll do it without home advantage ;)

She never came back from that.

However, even with all of that, I do miss New Zealand quite a lot, and love going back there for the salsa congress every year. It feels like a family (well, the whole country is 4.5m people, so everything feels like a family there, I guess…), and much more welcoming than the salsa congress in Sydney. I’m working on another choreography for it this year, and will be enlisting Adrian and Antonio to help me with it again.

I remember sitting in the canteen at Palmerston North hospital one lunchtime with the surgical team, and saying:

“I find it quite difficult meeting girls in New Zealand

Siddarth: “What are you talking about? I’ve kissed LOADS of girls in nightclubs!”

Me: “yeah….. but I like sober, educated women.”

Siddarth: “WELL THEN, YOU’RE F@#KED!!!!”

Hmmmm…… sometimes I do feel I ask for too much.

The search continues.

Until the next time.