Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Final words on a 2 month learning curve

When you live, work and socialise with the same people for any length of time, certain things that at first you might think strange, become normalised. It's only when I look back that I realise how certain situations I've recently been in might seem...a little odd... to the outside observer, or people back home. Or blog readers.

Like readily hopping into a car with a horrendously drunk driver at the wheel, which I did despite my refusal to even contemplate it at home. But here, it seemed not only acceptable, but necessary: simply because of our remote location and lack of other options.

Or when conversations regularly involved hearing explicit details about the 'hairy wombats' (ha, love that) of the boys' various conquests. The threesomes, couple swapping and way TMI about previous grooms that the Polo Player had slept with. If you'll excuse the pun, Jilly Cooper got the scandalous side of polo bang on. The polo set are more promiscuous than a footballer at Fresher's Week. The closest I got to any action, though, was in the truck on the way to Melbourne. I'd responded to 'Do you want to watch some porn?' with the challenge 'Oh, go on then. Find me the most disgustingly awful thing you can'. So he did, on his iPhone. And I nearly vommed. But hey, Australia's got some long, very boring roads.

I've also socialised with the Polo Player's patrons; the people who pay him to play in their teams. They are successful businessmen with expensive ponies and disposable incomes, who spend a minimum of $10,000 a weekend to play or be associated with a game where the only prize is prestige. Polo isn't driven by cash rewards, it's purely entertainment - a bottomless pit of expense. You might go to the pub to watch a game of football; players and patrons put up thousands of dollars, get a team together and gallop back and forth across a flat field.

One such man was responsible for giving me a bloody good send off from the polo world. The Polo Player had far from forgiven me, but still said goodbye over a couple of Baileys shots, Jagerbombs and a hug before going to meet friends. This left me to spend the rest of Sunday night with his Patron, two other grooms and an Argentinian Polo Player in the bar of a plush hotel on the outskirts of Sydney. Several bottles of champagne replaced dinner, and by the end of the night a $750 bar bill was signed off with the Patron's drunken scrawl. With an early start ahead of them, the others went to bed leaving me and him to finish off the final drops of the good stuff.

After a few minutes of chat about the imminent arrival of my boyfriend and onward travel plans, the pleasant, polite and well-spoken 50-something Patron turned to me on the sofa. He looked me steadily in the eye, and asked

"Do you want a shag?"

in much the same way as you'd ask whether someone would like a cup of tea.

"No thanks", I replied, in the same casual way, tipping the last of the champagne down my gullet. "I'm quite tired actually. I think I'll just go to bed."

And so, un-shocked, un-embarrassed, and completely un-surprised given all that I've been exposed to (literally) over the last two months, that's what I did - alone.

So that's that. New Zealand next, where I will resume travels in the real world.


nuttycow said...

Despite the way in which it's ended (with Polo Player being in a sulk) it sounds like you've had the most fantastic time.

Confession: I love JC and I've always wanted to hang around with a polo set to see whether it's as bad as she said. It obviously is, I'd have a ball of a time!

Have fun in Kiwi land - I look forward to reading your exploits there!

Anonymous said...

Aww, you could have had a bit of fun with that. Like saying yes for a start but giving him a fake room number. "See you in 10 minutes."

Very wealthy people know their wealth can buy or entitles them to anything so they commodotise everything. Unpalatable but fact.

Back to normality.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

See that? A happy ending. Wait around long enough and it's sure to arrive.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

nuttycow - It has been a bloody good time all in all, it's a shame it ended on a bad note with PP. I was surprised to see how much JC got right, and how much reading that book gave me a good grounding in the game hehe.

not twitter - That could have worked, except he was the one paying for the room so a fakey wouldn't have worked. Plus there would have been 3 other people to contend with in my room. Although from what I've heard, that doesn't seem to stop any one...

Unbearable - Oh, I hope that double entendre was on purpose. He he he. Did I spell that right? Entendre?

Brennig said...

A Lit. Crit reviewed my novel and likened it to 'Jilly Cooper meets Nick Hornby and wins by a short head'. Oh well, I like the Nick Hornby label.

Ah, but the tales I could tell of the eventing circle! Polo players are pussies. But I'm not biased. Oh no. :-)

Anonymous said...

Good to see that even the PP was civil when you left.

You do indeed seem to have had a great time, enjoy NZ, looking forward to seeing what shenanigans you get into there!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Brennig - Put eventers and polo player in the same room and watch the orgie unfold perhaps?

Perp - Yeah, it was nice that he came for a drink. But just a shame that after so much hard work, it ended even on a slightly sour note. A learning curve indeed.


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