1. This is the country most compatible with my control freak heart. Seriously, how do you not love a country where every bus and train station will tell you the exact friggin’ number of minutes till your bus or train arrives? Its like Deutschbahn just knows that I will develop palpitations if there is a one minute delay. They are taking no chances on my mental health and they have earned my lauw.
2. I have such an antenna for the uptight German. (No, not all of them are. I testify to this, having drunk copious quantities of beer and having sung in inebriated glee with German companions on many-a-decent German street.) Latest victim was a Reputable Type With a Job in Finance. He is so excruciatingly polite that it leaves me no recourse but to mess with his head.
He enquires in a strained, polite tone (such as you reserve for people you are forced into unholy proximity with when you travel coach) what I do for a living. I paint my bureucratic life is broad, boring strokes for about half a minute and wait till he relaxes enough to sip his coffee before I move in for the kill.
“Being a stripper was just really tough, y’know, what with the poor pay and two kids and all.” Sipping wine is so much more fun when you’re watching someone trying not to splutter their coffee. I recommend it.
3. I will never be cool enough for Berlin. Like N.E.V.E.R. We wander into this uber-cool club where we are almost denied entry for not being able to tick off the following boxes.
a) Had a sex change recently. I have almost-tits and some 5 o’clock shadow. My voice and demeanour are right off The L Word.
b) I can wear a poncho with a cowboy hat and look ridiculously cool instead of looking like wierd, misplaced Joan Baez wannabee.
c) I will arrive in a shiny, golden/flesh coloured body suit with tits painted on. Because I am fabulous and artistic, I will let totally random people feel me up/lick me as I cruise through this realm that I so own.
Yes, my harem pants and I were both begging to be incinerated and put out of our misery.
4. Dear God, I have forgotten how to flirt. Please tell me its the sleep deprivation or I will have to slash myself. The bartender brings me a glass of wine – compliments of Adam Levine lookalike from across the bar. AL cocks his head in utterly adorable manner and raises his hand unsurely in greeting. I smile wanly because frankly – those harem pants are feeling kinda tight around the waist. Normally by midnight, my waistline needs the elastic comfort of my jammies and the gut responds to green tea. Yes, I’m the Cinderalla story you never want to hear.
Anyway – AL lookalike comes over, pulls up a barstool, makes polite PC with Schminderella’s buddies and sheesh! is articulate and really funny. Schminderalla is in an uninspired semi-coma and is pulled aside by concerned colleague who points out that AL looks like err.. AL and in case I’d had too much to drink, he felt compelled to remind me that my correct age was 33, not 63.
I might have wept some gentle tears on his shoulder. “Sweetie,” he says comfortingly, “Live a little while your boobs still live in the Northern hemisphere and your hips aren’t screaming for replacement.” ( You will correctly gather that we’re close.)
“But I was good at this! I was!” I wail inconsolably.
I was. Just like some people love a great crossword, I love the challenge of a great flirt with a smart cookie. I won’t be caught dead batting my lashes or swinging my hips, but I love the verbal thrust and parry, the volley, the pace and the impeccable timing of a charged exchange. I love the sparkle in my challengers eyes when that rejoinder zings. The way I feel just a tiny bit more nerve-ending tinglier and alive because of this random connection.
It ain’t cheap when you’ve made it an art. But it ain’t an art if you’re in a coma.
Ultimately, I was more seduced by the thought of my suite. A king size bed all to myself. Watching MTV and raiding the minibar without anyone screaming for Cartoon Network. And the seemingly impossible, mirage-like fantasy of 10 hours sleep. Adam Levine in the flesh can’t beat that.
Dear God, these are new levels of pathetic, but nothing some cyanide won’t cure. Please to oblige.