Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mistaken Identity

It was demoralising today that once again, somebody mistook me for another nationality. I've had security guards thinking I'm French, random guys on trains assuming I'm Dutch, and ladies of the night in Kuala Lumpur accusing me of being Australian.

Tonight in the lift, a guy asked me if I was Australian. I'd had a shave not two hours before, for goodness' sake. Then again, he may have had a loose grasp on geography all round: when I told him my wife was from Canada, he thought I said Kerala. Now, given she's got bright red hair and pale white skin, that would seem a rather strange thing to happen. Either he was very trusting, or assumed we were in disguise.

It's been raining again today: there was a short interval between about 7 and 9 this morning where it didn't, and I managed to get an hour's run in, a sluggish, slow plod around the bay that I told myself was character building. It was so character building that I had to put on my compression tights afterwards and go back to bed. My wife was also exhausted and the best we could do was to watch a MotoGP race from the start of 2012 (Qatar, which was much better than some of the later yawnfests) and then go to the shops, where I played forlornly with Windows 8 laptops and Windows phones, and had the realisation that extra technology won't necessarily make my life more fulfilling. That's a hard lesson to learn, particularly for a techno-cultist like myself.

Next door to the Nokia shop was a DVD shop selling ... DVDs, obviously. I found a copy of Nigel Slater's Toast, which I was keen to buy until I saw the sticker saying it had been censored. What kind of country needs to protect its citizens from toast? My head began to fill with worry.

To cheer me up, we went to a boardgame cafe in one of the malls, and played ancient and archaic boardgames like Paycheck (aren't people paid electronically now?) and Sorry (who apologises these days), then wasted some time in a shoe shop, before going home and freshening up. Then after a couple of hours sat in the dark playing computer games, we went out for dinner, and then I came back to be mistaken for an Australian. What a strange life this has become.


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