Why hanging with diplomats sounds more fun than it actually is...
01.05.2009 - 22.05.2009 30 °C
May 13, 2009 – 10:32 pm
Hot men in suits. Scads of them. Hot European men in suits. And I still left the party early. The European Union Commission’s celebration of Europe Day. The 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Ambassadors, business moguls and the women whose plastic surgery they pay for. What a bore!! To be fair, I’m sure it would have been more fun had I been a) European, b) gave a crap about Europe Day, and/or c) knew a single soul at the party.
I had a chat over a plate of porcini mushroom risotto with a very friendly young Polish man. I actually thought he was kind of hitting on me till he said he developed a taste for risotto while working in Rome. At the Vatican. It was only then that I cunningly detected the priest collar – surely I would have noticed!!
Then drank champagne with a down-to-earth Turkish couple. Looking at the long line of middle-aged white men onstage, we joked there was no room left in the spotlight for Turkey to join the EU. They told me of their eleven-year old daughter and all the exotic species one can buy at the weekend market as pets. They were nice, despite their affinity for endangered wildlife.
The folksy Turks moved on and I was left standing there looking rather at ends. This leaves one open to attack by glamazons. Tottering precariously on her stork-like legs, too high Lucite heels and too short skirt, the 6-foot “third runner up for Thailand’s entry to Miss Universe 2008” descended on me. She gushed. I cringed. She admitted that she was a professional party goer/’local colour’ scenery prop.
I could barely make out a word she was saying, something about her agent and past beauty pageant triumphs. She asked and I told her I worked for an international children’s charity. “Me tooo!!!!” she squealed. “I’m a Christian also!” ummmmmm, yeah. I shifted uncomfortably in my patent heels and started blathering about our non-religious, non-political stance. She clasped my hand fervently to reinforce all that we had in common. She wouldn’t let go of it. She was now stroking it like it was a 3 week-old puppy. I was uncomfortable and she was crazy. I made a panicked dash for a smoked salmon canapé and zigzagged to the Grey Goose vodka table for good measure.
The crowning glory of the evening was the 7-foot high pyramid of white cupcakes with mini-EU flags tooth-picked into them. I really really REALLY wanted to take a picture of it with my camera phone but felt sure that would be frowned upon by the diplomatic corps. Next time.