Saturday, July 30, 2011


361. 1ish am. On a couch. After patiently going through various images on the internet, the pretty European girl concludes, "to get him to have sex with me, I will dress up like a Japanese school girl. Or like a school girl anyway, because clearly I'm not going to be able to look Japanese..."

362. Feeling guilty, for really, really wanting to buy that red, metal double-decker bus.

We need wine glasses, Gaston and I have been telling each other. Over the past year, what with the Tuesday dinners, friends gatherings and it-has-been-a-long-day drinks, our IKEA wine glasses have mysteriously disappeared one after another, resulting in two of us drinking white wine out of tall, thin glasses during the last three-person dinner. So when Gaston thoughtfully cleaned up the apartment before his vacation, I wanted to do something nice in return, and set out to buy wine glasses as soon as the August salary came in. Just wine glasses, I told myself.

By the time I queued up for the cashier at Maisons du Monde, also known as where I get turned on these days, in my shopping basket there were inexplicably also a striped orange-and-brown apron, red heart-shaped wooden pegs and a grid fruit bowl. I was immensely proud of myself for walking away from a funky-shaped floor mirror and finally joining the payment queue, when I realized that the teenage girl standing in front of me was holding a London bus, one hand spinning a front wheel, which brushed against the bus's metal frame, clank clank. It took all my will power not to run upstairs and get one for myself. After all, it would be hard to explain to my flatmates why there is a London bus on the coffee table. It already will be hard enough to explain the red heart-shaped wooden pegs.

363. During the six and a half hour dinner, some time after the yummy and spicy pasta all'arrabbiata (kindly prepared by my request) was quickly finished and before the bottle of red wine completely evaporated, we finished a game of Ticket to Ride. With a German map as its board, the objective of the game, as Girl #1 professionally explained to me, was to place railroad cars and connect one city to another. Players would collect points for successfully making these connections and for traveling along established routes. For each player, the exact cities to connect were determined by cards initially assigned to her and by cards that she volunteered to pick up during the game. Having naively dismissed the second option entirely, I ended up with 113 points, a significant distance behind Girl #1, who scored 167, and Girl #2, the eventual winner with 177. It was then mentioned that I was the one with a PhD in mathematics.
Girl #1, out of sympathy: Well, I guess the mathematics in your PhD was not related to the game.
Me: Actually, my PhD thesis was in graph theory.
Girl #1, still trying to help: I suppose it's very abstract then, not like what we were playing here.
Me: Uhm, the topic was a special version of the Traveling Salesman Problem...
Girl #1: Oh.

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