Sunday, April 06, 2008

Party Girl

Today was the first time I ever went to a proper desi party. (According to WordWeb Online, "desi" is a noun that refers to "a South Asian living outside South Asia". The Boyfriend simply defines it as a reference to people in general, kind of like "my people". I suppose it's similar to how we Filipinos refer to ourselves as "Pinoy".) One of The Boyfriend's batchmates, Shereen, who also worked in Credit Suisse incidentally, and in the same department as he was going into this coming July, was leaving for London and was having a farewell party at her place in Yishun. She invited a bunch of her friends and co-workers, and it turns out that The Boyfriend and his best friend, O, were part of her circle of friends. And she magnanimously invited all the people and their significant others, which meant that I went along.

Of course, there was a bit of trepidation as well - this was the first time we were attending a public function on his end of the social spectrum as a couple, and there was also the issue of language, since I don't speak Hindi and have only a smattering of Urdu in my incredibly basic vocabulary. However, things seemed okay enough that we were both running fashionably late when we met O at the City Hall Station (he lives in Bedok and we usually take the Dover train) and proceeded to take the long, hard trip going to the boondocks of Yishun. Also found time to message my friend S, who lived in the area, and asked her if she wanted to meet up for coffee in the afternoon. ^_^ Of course she said yes.

Oh, and incidentally, she's Indian too.

At any rate, so we arrived at Shereen's flat, a warmly-lit three-bedroom HDB affair that was very homey with warm orange walls and niches filled with sculptures of Hindu deities, a large low couch fronting a large TV set, and a large table and sideboard filled with all manners of dishes (Keralan cooking, as it turned out) and drinks. We gave her the chocolate cake that we had brought by way of a gift for the host (from the three of us, of course - we were all poor) and proceeded to mingle with the guests. By this time, you should know that I am very bad with desi names, only remembering them when I see them spelled out and pronounced properly so as not to unduly embarass myself. So instead, I would remember people by the color of their shirts, the city they came from (Bombay, Delhi, etc.), and what they were doing in Singapore.

Surprisingly enough, there were two Filipinas as well in the crowd - Ivy, who happened to be The Boyfriend's batchmate in Engineering and was dating an Indian guy as well; and Karen, a medical student at the Duke-NUS School of Medicine who was a friend of Shereen. It ws very amusing to talk to them (they were both younger than me by a year) and to realize that they were both from Davao. So of course, we just had to swap stories and figure out from which part of the city each other lived. The Boyfriend was vastly amused by the fact that even at a desi party, Filipinos will still infiltrate the system. ^_^ "You're taking over the world!" he exclaimed.

Most of the people in the group were in Engineering, which meant that many of the people I chatted with seemed very amused to have someone with an MA in Literary Studies in their midst and, as one guy put it, "It sounds very cool that at least you can say, 'I work in advertising' since most of us working boring engineering jobs." And then then were even more surprised that I was in the account servicing department as opposed to the creative department, and most asked if I did my MBA as opposed to an MA. Ah well, what can I say? I'm just chock-full of surprises. ^_^

Sadly, we had to leave the party earlier than others (where did the time go?) since I had to meet S at 4PM at the nearby Starbucks. Still, meeting up with S is always a treat, and she and The Boyfriend also converse very well, so I don't mind dragging him along. So we caught up on each others' lives and made plans to see The Other Boleyn Girl (since The Boyfriend refuses to watch slow and boring historical films) after she finishes writing her doctorate thesis proposal.

So today was a good day - we finished it by stopping over at Clementi and having KFC before heading off home for a nap. We got back past 7 PM already, so I just woke up and am now fired up to finish my work before properly going off to bed and getting ready for the work week ahead. ^_^

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