Monday, 25 October 2010

17 Foreign Matter

So there I was working hard in Lanzarote (okay, okay I was working in Lanzarote) instructing my cameraman what shots to get, as well as ordering a barman do his best Tom Cruise impression for the camera, when a couple of guys that had sat watching me hard at it, motioned for me to go over to them.

I went expecting one of the usual questions...

A/ What are you filming?
B/ What a great job you have, how did you get in to that?
C/ Can I be on camera?

Or in this instance there could have been an extra option...

D/ Why are you such a bossy boots?

Turns out it was none of the above. Instead, no sooner had I approached them when one of them asked in a foreign accent if he could have my phone number.

Jeez, if I had a pound for every time a guy asks me that...

Actually in all seriousness, similar things have happened to me a couple of times before. And by things I mean forward foreign men.

I wasn't exactly overjoyed about it the first time, due to the fact that I was rushing to catch a train. What part of seeing a girl virtually running across a platform would make the guy in question think I had enough time to (and would want to) stop and give a stranger my phone number?

The second time occurred when I was lying alone on an almost deserted beach in Australia. A guy suddenly appeared in front of me, blocking my sunrays, and asked in broken English if I would be his girlfriend.

I kid you not. No other chit-chat. He didn't even want to try going on a date first. What I couldn't understand is why he thought I'd be suitable partner material. I was lying miles from anyone. He must have had special binoculars to check whether he'd want me for that role.

Needless to say neither of them got a positive response from me. It did make me think about the difference between nationalities though. Do we Brits have it wrong? Are we wasting far too much time by making small talk. Should we start getting straight to the point and stop dilly-dallying?

Anyway back to man in Lanzarote. I asked him what he would do with the number if I gave him it and the conversation went a bit like this...

Lanza Man: I would phone you and take you on a date.

Me: I don't live in Lanzarote though.

Lanza Man: Where do you live?

Me: Manchester.

Lanza Man: I will come there then.

Me: That's a long way to come for a date.

Lanza Man: I will come for forever...


So of course I gave him my number.

What?! What's wrong with that??? OK, I've made it pretty clear that I wasn't happy about the forwardness (or weirdness in the second instance) of the men from the other occasions, but this time was different for two reasons...

Number 1 - Back then I didn't write a blog. You may be surprised to know this but sometimes I do things nowadays just cause they might be interesting for you to read about. Similarly if I go on a bad date part of me is gutted and the other part is rubbing my hands in glee at the thought of typing up the details later on. Read Mr Trafford Centre for the perfect example.

Number 2 - Did I mention that Lanza Man was Hot, Hot, Hot with a capital H! H! H!?

Two perfectly good reasons why I ended up giving my digits to a guy despite not knowing his name, age, where he was from, whether he was single, hobbies etc, etc..

Within half an hour my phone rang with an unknown number...

Friday, 15 October 2010

8 And on the Sixth Day...

...God created Manchester.

When I was just a wee lassie at school and had the chance to do a weeks' work experience, rather than do it in the local bank or factory like others did, I opted to do a stint in a kindergarten in Munich.

Then when I was studying at university, I'd spend my three month summer breaks waitressing in the Canaries.

When I had the chance to spend the last year studying in Canada, I jumped at the chance.

And so it continued. I lived and worked in various other countries as well as going on holiday at every opportunity.

Put it this way, I was constantly going away and by away, I mean abroad, because I was never convinced that the UK was for me. I wasn't sure where I wanted to live but I just knew for sure that it wouldn't be in Blighty. We just didn't fit.

That's until I discovered Manchester.

I'd always had a bit of a soft spot for it. Particularly for shopping. A trip down here to see the English relations was never complete unless I'd spent my pocket money in Afflecks Palace.

It wasn't until I decided on a whim to give it a shot living here that I fell well and truly in love with the place.

Almost eight years later and we still haven't fallen out. We haven't even had any arguments. I still get a buzz about living here. To me it has everything. Not only that but it is so central that it is incredibly easy to get to everywhere from Manchester - including my home town in Scotland which I have a lot more respect for now that I've left - meaning that I still get to do my trips away. Unusually compared to before I also look forward to coming back.

The fact that I live on the UK's tallest residential building and two of my walls are windows that overlook this amazing city is a bonus. I love when new people come to visit the apartment and hear them squeal when they first see the views of my spiritual home.

So you can imagine how proud I felt to discover that I've been shortlisted as one of Manchester's best personal blogs. I feel like I'm one of Manchester's own. I've passed my initiation and am now in the club!

And obviously I'm over the moon about even being considered for the award in the first place. Thanks to the lovely Tuppence a fabulous girl that I got to know through her blog and now consider a friend.

OK, I do feel slightly cheeky as I haven't been the most prolific of bloggers recently but that has been down to working abroad and not having much time or access to post, rather than a case of disinterest or lack of things to write about.

Anyway am back in the Tower now where I belong and will be continuing to write about my life as a single girl in Manchester. (And actually, even though I wasn't posting I was still 'thinking in blog' and doing things purely 'for the blog' as my next post will reveal...

Thanks for sticking with me and if you get the chance to pop over to here and then vote for Tower Tales I would be forever in your debt.

Thanks - love you all!

Rapunzel x

Sunday, 10 October 2010

18 Budgie Smugglers

I had a couple of awkward conversations at work last week. It wasn't the topics discussed that made them difficult, more the way that the people I was chatting to were attired.

The first was with a topless woman. Call me weird but I find it hard discussing the rules regarding filming children with a woman who has her..er..babies out.

(My cameraman said later that he didn't see what I found so difficult about the exchange and that he hadn't felt uncomfortable at all. He was wearing sunglasses mind you.)

The other chat was with a fifty-something German man. A Speedo wearing fifty-something German man.

I should probably explain at this stage that I've been filming in Lanzarote. Just in case you are wondering what kind of weird office I work in.

What do you make of Speedos? I'm uncertain. I just find it a bit difficult to see men roaming around the streets in what are essentially their pants.

I wasn't best impressed the time I went on a date with a guy and he was wearing them. (It was a beach date. I was living in Australia and that was the kind of thing you'd do there. Honestly.) That's despite the fact he was a professional water polo player and was as fit as you like (in both senses of the word) so could carry them off.

Maybe it's more that I think there is a time and a place for wearing Speedos and I don't think that standing a bit too close to a young producer in a hotel lift and asking her what she is filming, is either.

Neither is it appropriate to look like you are smuggling budgies while at the supermarket, hotel lobby and most definitely not while out to lunch.

In saying that, my cameraman and I wiled away many a spare...oooh...five minutes playing a game we invented based around the spotting of these men in their banana hammocks. You had to shout 'Kerching!' whenever you saw a pair of Speedos and you would get points according to style and location of the wearer. I knew I was well on my way to becoming the Kerching King© when I spotted someone sporting some rather fetching leopard print ones in Spar.

I thought this was just a fun game but it turns out that my afore-mentioned cameraman was taking it a bit more seriously as he confessed to me one night over dinner that he was actually one of them. A fully-fledged Speedo wearer.

How could I have not known this? Had I not seen the signs? I must admit that I was shocked. You would have thought that he'd announced that he has a large My Little Pony collection at home or something. I told him he needed to have a word with himself.

My advice clearly fell on deaf ears as the following day when we decided to go for a swim in the sea after work, he thought it would be oh so funny to meet me in the reception wearing his favourite pair of budgie smugglers. Along with sandals, a t-shirt that he'd knotted at his belly button and a rucksack on both shoulders.

Oh how hard I laughed. Not.

Actually that's not strictly true. I did laugh but only after I'd told him I wasn't going to be seen dead with him dressed like that and the girl on reception asked what the problem was. I mean I know she works in the service industry and the customer is always right but that's taking it a step too far.

So do tell me your opinion on them. Am I weird having an issue with them? (Or just weird writing a whole blog post about them?!) They are definitely becoming more common. When I wanted a photo to illustrate this post all I had to do was look to my left as I lay on the beach and hey presto! Yep, I know at first glance you may think that is a girl sunning herself in flowery bikini bottoms but she is actually a he.

Kerching! Ten points for me!

(Kerching© can be found in all good toy shops this Christmas)