You are no doubt desperate for the sequel to Tom and Mingzhu’s girlfriend experience.
Tom admitted to Lanying, the arch-orchestrator of the plot, that Mingzhu was exactly his type. “How did you know that she was exactly the sort of woman I like?”
“I just know.”
“The trouble is…” said Tom. “Please don’t take this the wrong way but Chinese women can be tricky.”
“Tricky? Are we?”
“They can be incredibly pretty but you never know what is going on in their minds. They always trick you somehow.”
“Mingzhu is not like that. She is a very decent person.”
“All the same…”
“Does that mean you are not going to contact her?”
“She told me she will be very busy until after the new year because she is going away with her mother. So I said we can meet for lunch in January.”
January is nearly over and they still haven’t met for lunch. Mingzhu emailed him. After a few days he replied. They couldn’t agree on a date. Mingzhu wrote straight back. A few days later he replied again. They eventually agreed a date.
“But it’s not a date,” Tom told Lanying. “Don’t call it a date. It’s just lunch.”
“A lunch date.”
“No, not a lunch date. It’s just lunch.”
Then he cancelled the lunch date. He had been promoted and he had to go for lunch with his new boss instead.
“Mingzhu will understand. She likes ambitious men, doesn’t she?”
“That was when she was younger,” said Lanying. “She is more mellow now. She says you take a long time to reply to her emails. She thinks maybe you are not that keen.”
“But she writes such long ones! I have 300 unanswered emails in my inbox. I can’t reply to hers in two minutes on my BlackBerry. I have to think about them and sit at a proper keyboard.”
“Maybe you are thinking too much. It’s only lunch.”
Yesterday Tom found time to go and see a film with Lanying. It’s that film with George Clooney called Up in the Air. I read a review over breakfast. “It’s got four stars!” I said. “I bet it’s really good.”
“Four stars! Give me that! I’m going to take that with me and show him. He never believes me when I tell him a film is going to be good.”
“He’s so fussy. He’s neurotic.”
“Yeah, and he’s always late! He’d better not be late today.”
He was late. Lanying told him twice that the film started at 3.00 o’clock but he didn’t get there till 3.17. She was waiting at the entrance watching him as he came running up the road. He was sweating.
“I already have the tickets,” she said and took him straight in. “I want to find a good seat. I hate to sit at the front.”
“I thought it had started.”
“You told me it started at 3.00.”
“If I told you it started at 3.30 I’d still be waiting at the door checking my watch.”
“I’ve been tricked!”
“Just sit down. Here, use these tissues to wipe the sweat off your face.”
“I told you Chinese women are tricky.”
Meanwhile Tom and Mingzhu haven’t yet agreed on a date so it’s all still up in the air.