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.