White middle-class Europeans
infallible cultural confidence as minority
striding through Third World
immunising, proselytising, electrifying, irrigating
strangely submissive at home as majority.
It was so much different second time around
another city, smaller and colder
figuratively and literally
nothing like the undergraduate bohemian subtropical.
We shared a house
two men and a woman
she employed in a halfway house
always being commuted from closure
he an encryptor of software.
Sounds like an opening line
the social worker, the computer engineer and the postgraduate.
Two men and one woman?
We joked we were the only two men in the city who hadn’t
although I wonder if someday Mark will say – “ well actually.”
Still, she introduced us to so many people
offsetting the austerity of workplace cubicle
and ivory tower policy studies and economics
on Friday nights
the house filled
with half familiar and never before faces.
Francisco, from Bolivia I think
or perhaps Peru. Dark ringlet haired exotica
charmingly unconfident English
often needing help with “ what do I mean ” – from women.
The night grows long – the room hungry
takeaways? ” No, no, Francisco will cook”
chunks of cabbage, cauliflower and carrots
not boiled enough potatoes
salt, pepper and butter. Much butter.
It is exactly what it is
large pieces of not raw, not cooked vegetables
marble pebble potatoes
yellow tide of butter
“Ooooh Francisco,” young urban professionals coo
“this is fantastic.”