Tag Archives: relationships

The City Slicker

26 Jul

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]Asun and Mimi sit in a cafe off the waterfront in Belaga, a town of 2500 souls and the major trading hub of great swathes of Sarawak rainforest, a hundred and fifty-odd miles upriver from the coast of Malaysian Borneo.

“Chinese wedding?! No!!!” Asun exclaims. “Chinese wedding, one day, you have one table, cost 350 ringgit.”

Mimi chimes in. “And you need many tables. Big family. I have ten brothers and sisters, so…”

“We had a Kayan wedding,” says Asun. “With a Kayan wedding, all you need to do is buy a pig, and everyone from the longhouse eats. One pig! Three hundred ringgit…” Continue reading

The Birds and the Bees

8 Mar

Z with linga, My Son, Vietnam

Linga, My Son, Vietnam

In the aftermath of our not wildly successful dragon boat cruise, Z and I are ambling along the south bank of Hue’s Perfume River, trying to put our collective fingers on what went wrong.

“I think the thing is,” he says. “That the people we met in Cambodia really cared if we had a good time, and not everyone was trying to sell us something, and quite a lot of people wanted to be our friends, regardless. And in Vietnam, it feels a bit like everybody we meet wants something.”

“I’m not sure that’s true,” I say. “Remember the nice guy who gave us a lift to the DVD shop in Saigon?”

His face darkens. Continue reading

You are Nine, Going on Nineteen

3 Mar

So Z got dumped by his girlfriend. Or did he? It came up the first time in a moment of anxiety atop a sand dune in Mui Ne.

“I think A doesn’t want to go out with me anymore. Or then again, maybe she’s joking. I don’t think she meant it,” he says.

“Meant what?” I say.

“Meant what she said in her email. She said, ‘You mustn’t swear. We’re splitting up.’”

We discuss the email. I make soothing noises. We move on.

Late this evening, after Z has dined, drawn and made an insane YouTube video starring the beachball and my lipstick, I hear the unmistakably old-school ring of Skype.

“What are you doing?” I say. “Didn’t I say it’s bedtime?”

“I’m Skyping A,” he says. “She’s online now!”

A muffled, crackling conversation ensues, after which he seems much happier, although he is eagerly awaiting an email.

“So is everything alright between you and A now?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says. “We didn’t talk about it. But she seemed totally fine on the phone. So I don’t think we can be splitting up.”

“You know you’ll always be friends?” I say. (They have known each other since she was born and he was six months old.)

“I know,” he says. “That makes me feel much better.”

They grow up fast. My lord, they really do.