Short Time/Long Time – Slip of the Tongue?
Last Sunday afternoon, I went to one of my favourite bars, just for a beer. Not a ‘naughty’ bar (we don’t really have those here) but I felt safe because my Filipina ex-girlfriend had told me that she’d met a new boyfriend and was now engaged (marriage is on Valentine’s Day) and I am a friend of the bar owner. Previously (when I’d broken up with the Filipina girl) the feelings were mixed between killing me and ‘can I have his phone number now he is free’.
The tourist situation in CY is dire, with many bars closed and those that do open are pitifully empty. No tourists, and they are all competing for trade. This one (due perhaps to the owner having a Filipina girlfriend) opens on Sunday afternoons for Filipina parties. They don’t spend much – unless Cypriot boyfriends are in attendance – but they like to sing the karaoke, they make the place look full and they just may attract the wandering tourists.
They also have a log fire, which means a lot in the winter here.
Sunday was a birthday party for one of the girls. This meant much food and a great time by all. Why she was wearing what looked to me pink pyjamas and very visible panty lines, I don’t know. But I sang a couple of songs, using a radio mike to bring her onto the floor with me, wishing her ‘happy birthday’ and it went down well.
I noticed during the afternoon (nobody who was there couldn’t fail to notice) that one ‘girl’ loved to dance to all the songs. In fact my mate (Brit) who was running the karaoke announced at one stage ‘hang on dear, and we’ll get a pole for you to dance around’. She was not much to look at, but dressed in a short skirt and swinging her ass, there were very few men who failed to notice her presence.
Only slightly inebriated (me not her) I asked the barmaid to take her a drink – just in sheer appreciation of her effort in dancing. She asked for a pint of beer, then came to join me at the bar, and we got talking.
Her name was ‘Ellen’ I think, and she came from one of the ‘provinces’ in the PI. Standard story – married (in an arranged marriage when she was 15) a long time ago, two daughters now both in college, etc. She said she had travelled a bit, been to Hong Kong, etc. She must have been mid-30s and looked it (and some of the mileage at least must have been heavy) but I found her a refreshingly honest and nice woman. (I am not in the market, having a Thai ‘girlfriend’ elsewhere and knowing that any indiscretion would immediately be reported back).
She went to a table nearby to talk to her friends. These included a local CY guy who is old, fat, ugly, but quite a nice guy and has many flip ‘girlfriends’.
She returned to me with her ‘friend’ – a Filipina girl who exuded sexuality but who had the hard look of someone who has played (and won) many times. ‘Oh’ she said ‘you talk to my friend Ellen, you like her?’. Me (being educated by Stick) said something like ‘Sorry to take her away from you short time, maybe we need to talk long time’.
The effect was electric. ‘Ellen’ dropped her head in her hands, and her friend looked daggers at me as if ‘I knew too mut’. The mere use of the terms ‘short time’ and ‘long time’ was enough.
I spoke to ‘Ellen’ and she was extremely subdued and disturbed. Just the way she was dressed and the way she danced (only the pole was missing) suggested some sort of background. Her friend could have come straight from the hardest club in town. ‘Ellen’ apologised for her friend, and said that she had ruined her evening. I have to be honest, I could not help but wonder about ‘Ellen’s’ background. How and where did she learn to dance like that, and how did she get to go to Hong Kong?
I told ‘Ellen’ that I was not looking for anything; the offer to meet up for coffee etc., still stood. (It still does). She is a nice lady, and I enjoy the experiences I get.
But ‘short time/long time’ – even as a code – reveals a lot.
‘Ellen’ and I exchanged phone numbers, but I really don’t think anything will come of this. It was just that – as so often here – I enjoy talking to people that I wouldn’t get to talk to at home.
But ‘short time / long time’ obviously meant a lot to her. Shame, because in the brief time I spent talking to her, I thought she was a nice person ….