An unstoppable sisterhoodPosted: March 1, 2011
I returned home yesterday to find the front door open.
That’s something I can get stroppy about as the mosquitoes tend to collect in the porch area but by this time, I guess, they were all in the house.
Anyway, my wife was there, talking to the landlady as if they were old friends. They laughed and joked and didn’t break conversational stride as I entered.
Every so often they’d look in my general direction as if I’d just been mentioned. I know now that it’s not worth asking what they were saying nor feeling paranoid that it might not be all good.
I know what they were talking about. Men.
Men are a burden.
They were comparing burdens.
This sisterhood is endlessly fascinating to me. The way Vietnamese females can make instant friends with another woman. A genuine bond beyond the usual smile and introduction.
Scared of being culturally insensitive or being guilty of expat gruffness I tend to be very accepting of service in restaurants and hotels. My wife is far more aggressive when it comes to getting what she thinks she is entitled too.
Yet, there are also times when I catch that look between her and the waitress. A look that says something isn’t quite right but let’s not make a big deal about it.
The waitress smiles grateful that a fuss hasn’t been made and she quietly fixes the issue.
It’s me again. I’m the burden.
They can both imagine the fuss that a man might make if he spotted the problem.
We have two en suites in our house, both of them with showers. We’ve long talked about replacing one with a bath. Spending money on a rental house makes little sense but with buying out of the question then sometimes you’ll invest if you plan to stay long term.
A bath needs a much larger water tank so that’s not cheap never mind the cost of the tub itself and the price of installing it. Who pays?
Beyond the failings of men, that’s what the wider conversation was about between my wife and the landlady. Quiet negotiations aimed at reaching the quickest, most amicable solution.
It was sorted in seconds.
Vietnamese women deny it but they absolutely run this country.
Opportunities are opening up for them in such a way now that I sometimes struggle to work out what roles will be left for men in just a few years time.
This sisterhood is unstoppable.