Apparently if you are in an illegal bar at 2am on a Sunday morning in London you must not ask the Italian-looking older man what it is that he does for a living. He looked at me as though I was mad. It wasn't my fault. He started the conversation and I was merely being polite.
'So, what do you do?' (I don't actually want to know but I'm being well mannered)
'My mother is Italian.'
'That's nice, but what do you do?'
'A bit of this, a bit of that ...' He looks at me strangely and then says in a quiet voice:
'You should never ask a man whose mother is Italian what it is that he does for a living.'
'I was just making conversation.' Cue muttering from me about how some people are so touchy.
Aside from upsetting people in bars, I've managed to get myself employed. Company I interned for in Auckland a while back suggested I email a client of theirs who just happened to have three resignations the week I contacted them. Marvellous. One interview and one job. I still don't have a bank account or tax number but I won't let that stand in the way of me trotting off to work each day. I'm not entirely sure exactly what my role is, but neither is my boss. They've decided to squish production and editorial together so it'll be a mish-mash. So far I've done very little but as I seem to be coming down with the flu, I think I'll just sit in my chair and look miserable. I've also managed to be late both days and spill yoghurt all over myself. Think I am making a great impression.
Am still staying with Katie. She's just started making her Christmas cake. So far she's decided entirely on her own that she ought to double the amount of brandy that the recipe asked for. I merely nodded my head.
We caught up with Justin and met some utter wankers (lawyers) that were all part of some semi-antipodean monthly pub get-together. Justin had warned us that there would be people indulging in wank-talk and gave us permission to be as rude as we liked. He also spent quite some time encouraging Katie to go about the room, taking ties off those men who were foolish enough to still be wearing them at 9pm. Katie was not keen.
I met my first stuffed shirt. So disappointing that he was a Kiwi who had somehow become more English than the English. Had annoyingly faux tousled hair that he'd obviously spent quite a lot of time and gel on getting to perfection. We had the following conversation:
'Hello, I'm Richard.'
'Hi, I'm Penelope.'
'Please, call me Richie.'
'Then please call me Pen.'
Me: 'So, how do you know Justin?'
'Do you know ...' (rabbits off some names and I look blank) 'I don't think you know anyone that I know.' (Distaste is reflected in his voice as he realises just how far down the social scale I must be).
I go for all out Kiwi: 'Nah, not unless they went to Massey, eh.'
He turned to the very good-looking woman next him and pointedly ignored me. I thought evil thoughts about men who own more hair products than I do and took unclassy big gulps of wine in order to wash away the poor taste of the conversation.
In other news, have suffered a spot from pedestrian rage. Far too many people here. And was stuck on a bus today for an annoying amount of time with no idea of where I was.
Oh, I'm sick. Poor little 5-foot 10 pen pen. I want my mummy to make me hot lemon and honey drinks. And, AND, I'm spotty and I have bad hair. I was struck by these ailments the moment I arrived in London. Stupid old London with its huge array of shoe shops.
But, am in England now, so, mustn't grumble.