Monday, April 13, 2009

My Name is Helen

Fresh back from a hilarious girls weekend away. Stayed at the divine Shangri-La in Abu Dhabi, which sits overlooking the world’s largest Mosque. A gorgeous view. It has a souk next door which you can travel to by Abra ( a small traditional wooden boat) or golf cart.

After an evening of delicious dinner and scintillating conversation (of course!) we retired to the hotel bar for a few scoops. We hadn’t been sat down for long when we caught the attention of an (ahem) rotund local gentleman, who began sending drinks to the table. So far, nothing really out of the ordinary, although this doesn’t happen to me all that often, I have to say. Anyway, this went on for quite some time, with various glasses of wine, and other, more unpalatable looking cocktails and shots arriving on the table. Unsolicited by us, just to clarify. Each time this happened the waitress came over looking very embarrassed about the situation.

Eventually, the inevitable happened. The waitress came over to say that the rotund gentleman would like to join us. We declined, politely, explaining that we were having far too much girl talk to be interrupted. Despite this, he ignored us and joined us anyway. It soon became clear that not only was he rotund, but also sweaty, and very, very drunk. There followed on the most hilarious interchanges I have ever experienced. I’ve tried to re-create it below but to be honest it loses a lot in translation.

Him: What is your name (pointing at me.)
Me: Kelly
Him: Helen?
Me: No, Kelly
Him: Helen?
Me: No, Kelly
Him: Helen?
Me: (admitting defeat) Yes, that’s right Helen.
Him: Helen, I have 57 cars.
Me: That’s nice.
Him: I can give you a car.
Me: That’s ok, thanks.
Him: Where are you from?
Me: Manchester.
Him: I was in Manchester in 1979.
Me: I was three years old then.
Him: I have a big property in London.
Me: That’s nice.
Him: You can go and stay there.
Me: (Trying to look enthusiastic) Great.
Him: Next time you come to Abu Dhabi, you can stay in one of my properties. I have many properties.
Me: Lovely.
Him: Are you married?
Me: No. How many wives have you got?
Him: One. 7 children.
Me: How lovely.
Him: Give me your phone number.
Me: Writing down a fake phone number: here you go.
Him: Take my phone number.
Me: Ok. (Instantly throwing number over my shoulder.)
Him: (After answering his mobile) I go now.
Me: Was that your wife then?!

And off he went lumbering into the night. I tell you, it was a very bizarre experience. And what worries me the most is that these were clearly tried and trusted lines from him. Yes, welcome to the place where “I have 57 cars” is seen as an acceptable chat up line. Nice!

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