Tag Archives: embassy

British Embassy and Blagging Drinks

Dodgy camel-piss vodka aside I have been booze free for two months, so when I got an email from a friend to say the Saracens Rugby Club Ball at The British Embassy tickets were on sale I jumped at the chance. Even if it was the wrong club for a Wasps fan to associate with, the call of British soil and the alcohol acceptance which that brings about was too strong to ignore. So, Friday night the black dress and heels got dusted off and the girls and I hit the town.

No phones or cameras were allowed past security so unfortunately I have no lasting images of the beautiful garden setting, and couldn’t tweet ‘hilarious’ drunken comments during the speeches. Any South African rugby coach with an association to Sarries that admits, albeit as a joke, to paying referees deserved a tweet or two!

Thankfully during the tedious speeches there was a three course meal and wine rationing. You see, to avoid 150 drunken Brits emptying out on to the streets of Kuwait City at 1am they ration the drinks. Six vouchers on arrival and then you could exchange your ticket for a further three after 10.30. This isn’t a problem in itself. Nine drinks after two dry months should be plenty. But I have espresso mugs that carry more liquid than a 125ml wine glass. Seriously, 125ml is not a drink, it’s a mixer. So after 20 minutes and I’m on glass number two with four hours to go I envisage a problem. On drink order number three I smile sweetly at the Indian man behind the bar and ask if he can just pretend to stamp my card. He says no, I laugh and tell him it was worth a try. On drink number four I hand over an unstamped card to the same bar man. He stamps my card and with a slight of hand Paul Daniels would have been impressed with, slides a full unstamped card of three drinks under the stamped one and hands both back to me. Result!

So, safe in the knowledge I can stop switching between water and wine I toddle off to network. And sing. I may have sung ‘Stand up, for London Wasps’ very loudly over the ridiculous Saracens song. That’ll be the wine’s fault, not mine!

Later on, after being dragged on the dancefloor, I escape to the toilets. These are accessed down a pathway and through a courtyard. On my way back to the party a young man compliments me on my walk. This causes me to stop and laugh. He insists he’s serious, and that I walk like a supermodel. I thanked him and explained the focus on putting one foot in front of the other in such a definate way was more about thin heels, soft ground and several wines. If I didn’t walk with purpose my heels would sink in and I’d fall over. Falling over is a trick my UK friends can vouch for. So we chat for a bit longer, the ice having been broken by my walk, and end up discussing rugby. I forgave him for being a Saints fan, he congratulated me on having a good season and then his friend signalled that they were leaving. He laughs and says this is the moment he should ask for my number but neither of us had a phone. I laugh and say he knows my name and where I work so if he’s interested he’ll find me. At this I kiss him on the cheek and stride off.

08.02am Sunday morning… Work email pops up:

‘Are you free for dinner on Wednesday?’

Now I just have to remember what he looked like. Bloody wine.

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A matter of weeks

It’s all starting to get a bit real now. My emotions don’t quite know what is normal any more and I often carry a small ball of heat in my chest which can only be described as a mixture of panic and excitement causing mild indigestion and a raised heartbeat. I move in a matter of weeks.

It all felt so far away in January because I wasn’t leaving until ‘next month’. February lands on Friday. As of Friday the countdown is in the same month and the move date is only weeks away. My friends, colleagues and clients keep asking the same question over and over again:

“How is all the prep and packing going?”

And whilst I appreciate their interest in my life a tiny bit of anger and frustration washes over me when I’m asked. It’s a completely irrational response and I don’t know why it gets me worked up. Maybe it’s because I’d like to have any other topic of conversation other than how I am to pack up my 30 years in the UK and move 3,000 miles away from everything I know using one 25kg suitcase. My shoes alone weigh 25kg.

Maybe also it’s because I hate to get too excited by anything. This is because as a child if I got too excited I would make myself sick and as an adult if I got too excited by anything I would end up disappointed. So far all my paperwork is back from the various organisations and in a big brown envelope in my handbag. It all now needs taking to the embassy in Knightsbridge to be processed. The embassy is open Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm. I work Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. My office is also an hour away from Knightsbridge. So right now I am in no-man’s-land. I know I am going in two weeks, I know I only have one more hurdle to overcome and I know I cannot get my flight details sorted until I have jumped the last hurdle. If I don’t get this bit sorted I’m not going anywhere in two weeks. It will be sorted though, trust me. It might just all be a little last-minute. I can see myself at the embassy on Monday, getting flight details on Tuesday, packing up my life on Wednesday and leaving my loved ones on Thursday, settling in to Kuwait on Friday, chilling on Saturday and starting work on Sunday. Craig David couldn’t have planned that better!

To distract myself, I’m using any excuse to socialise. It seems people do actually want to say farewell (or share my love of finding any excuse for a party). I met my aunt and cousin for dinner in London on Sunday night and the weirdest thing happened as I left. I see the pair of them once or twice a year so if I fly home for Christmas I’ll see them then and so my move won’t actually have changed all that much. But as I descended in to the depths of the Bakerloo line after hugging them both goodbye, hot tears stung my eyes and my chest felt really tight. Then I realised that if I was holding back from sobbing at that point, how the hell was I going to cope with saying goodbye to my mum and dad at the airport. This set me off. I apologise to anyone on the tube that night that had to witness my deep breathing as I tried to swallow down the tears. I must have looked funny.

This weekend I’m adding alcohol to the goodbyes. It’s my last night out with my best friend/partner-in-crime/surrogate sister/ex housemate/princess. Due to her flying to America on business next week and flying home the day I should be flying away, this Saturday is our last night out together.

I have a feeling I’ll need waterproof mascara.

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