Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Croc Shock

Last night I was in a photoshoot for Crocs shoes.What started off as a bit of a joke for me - I agreed to the shoot before realising who it was for - turned out to be a bit of a revelation. I'm hardly Crocs' biggest fan. I think the whole neon rubber swiss cheese look should have been strangled at birth actually. Still, the shoot took me by surprise. Not only were the shoes as comfortable as everyone has told me, a weak justification to slip them on in my book, they had some new and varied styles that were actually - I'll whisper it - pretty damn cool. For guys, material beach shoes that could go well with jeans or on my boat, for girls some credit-crunch beating rubber highheels, and several other designs besides. I can't help but recommend them, although the original designs still feel inextricably linked to hybrid-driving vegetarians with bald spots and greying ponytails.

The shoot itself was fun, if quite long, with long periods of waiting around, and there was a lot of joking around with the other models. It also gave me a chance to have a bit of a think about Hong Kong in general, and how I'm settling in here. What occurs to me now, after three weeks, is that this has been a sort of dry run for moving to a new city, a plunge-in experience with the safety net of a ticket out at the end of the month.

It's given me a chance to see the city as an outsider working in, making friends and contacts, using every night out as an opportunity to meet new people, hear new stories and places to go and try and get myself into new situations. It's also meant I've had a lot of downtime. I have three nominal jobs (interning at a literary agency and Time Out Hong Kong and tutoring English GCSE), but they don't take up too much time in the mix of the global financial meltdown and the run up to Christmas. Still, with three different potential bosses to be hearing from each week, I'm not rushing out to find more to do.

The thing I've had to learn to do most urgently is to try not to force too much, advice Soleil gave to me in the midst of a mini-breakdown. After about four days with nothing to do, noone to call and only the companionship of the TV and skype, I was feeling a bit lonely and done in. Two weeks of going out constantly, meeting everyone I could, getting phone numbers, facebook, business cards and, on one occasion, an unpronounceable female Thai name written on a bar napkin in swirly characters that may not be English, had left me with no real sense of a friendship group in the city, and I was too tired to try again. I broke down, called around and complained about how I had no friends. Soleil's answer was the most calming. "Just relax J". I shouldn't expect too much from just two weeks in a new city. We chatted a bit more and I felt a bit happier, but still slightly lonely. Just then my phone beeped.

"Sorry Sols, I've gotta run. Thanks for chatting, but I just got a text from a girl I met last week, I'm gunna go meet her in a club."

The irony of the situation was not lost on me. It was from another unexpected email the next day that I heard about the modelling job. Clearly Soleil was right, but it's a lesson that's going to take some work to make stick, especially for someone who craves attention as much as I do.

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