Category: Social Awkwardness


Posted by Thomas on October 29th, 2009 — 9:44pm

I feel like I’ve been asleep for months and have only woken from my slumber. Now I find myself in some strange place I do not recognise. What are these walls? How has Modest Mango changed so intensely? What is that shiny red apple I see? Can I eat it? And the coffee pot perched perilously atop the loo roll. Is that a disaster about to unfold?

Who now controls Modest Mango? Has it become dominated by NFL? Does the Burr still exist? Does he raise his thumb to dismiss the cafes of Belfast, Glasgow and the rest of the UK? Is anything still the same??

Comment » | Social Awkwardness

Johnston vs Johnson

Posted by Michael on July 8th, 2008 — 4:40pm

Earlier today I was humbly taught the lesson that having letters after your name don’t mean shit to the Mango crew. For two weeks I have been a graduate, smugly under the impression that I’m really a cut above the rest of the hoo-ha’s making up this blog. I was wrong. I’m still prone to the same moments of social agony Phil or Burr or any of the others experience on occasion. In fact, from today’s experience I’m prone to even worse…

Since returning to Belfast I’ve been swimming in the Queens University PEC. On returning from the pool today I crouched down to my locker to get my stuff just as a fully naked young man started to get his own gear out of the locker directly above. No towel! No nothing! Clasping my inhaler, goggles and swim cap in my left hand I frantically tried to put my key in the lock, but it wasn’t budging. I had to move in closer… I.e. Closer to the penis. Meanwhile the man’s lock seemed to have jammed. Goddamn lock! Why doesn’t anybody fix them. Don’t they realise situations like this are going to inevitably happen without working lockers?!

So I timidly croaked, “Hi, can I just quickly get my stuff?”, desperate to sound as heterosexual as possible and act as if I was completely oblivious to the huge wang flopping around in my face. No acknowledgement from him… I asked him again to move but to no avail. And so, I had to dive in head first. The key clicked, I flung open the locker and grasped my shoes and bag while I could and bolted for the private changing space.

The lesson I learned? Never again put my stuff in locker 756.

1 comment » | Social Awkwardness

Being Banana

Posted by Philip on October 21st, 2007 — 3:22am

A Banana is a person who is in the peculiar position of being yellow on the outside and white on the inside. To my white friends, I’m the Chinese kid; and to my Chinese friends, I’m the white kid. This is not necessarily what they actually think, but is my own interpretation of myself when I’m with them.

It’s a strange privilege to be able to have a foot in both cultures, which of course are completely at polar opposites. You see the quirks and oddities of both, the good points and the bad points, and you settle your own personality at some middle ground that’s uncomfortably lodged in-between somewhere. The Chinese kid is constantly analysing the white kids when he’s with them, and the white kid is constantly analysing the Chinese kids when he’s with them. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Would it be easier to be one or the other, rather than an amalgam of both?

It was Chung Ying’s birthday the other day, and it was to be an (almost) entirely Chinese affair. Hell, even the Pringles had to have rice in them.

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When I enter a room full of Chinese people, there is only one thing I need to know; and that’s whether I’m the tallest person in the room. This time, I was. Obviously. I’m pretty damn tall for a Chinese person, and I love it. There’s just something fantastic about being able to stand amongst the packed streets of Hong Kong and being able to look out into the distance over the sea of heads like a periscope.

Much like Spider-Man’s powers, my height is both a gift and a curse. Hong Kong is not designed for someone to be over probably 2 or 3 foot tall, and being over 6 foot can not only be an annoyance but is sometimes a hazard to your own health. I’ll give you an example. In Hong Kong this year, there was a typhoon. Here’s a picture I took of the fallout:

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You probably didn’t even know there was a typhoon in Hong Kong, right? You know why? Because it’s really rather insignificant. It literally happens at least once a year. Anyway, the typhoon is not what I wanted to talk about.

The weather for the next few days following the typhoon will inevitably be heavy rain, and when there’s rain, there’s umbrellas. Do you know what the consequences are for tall people in Hong Kong when it’s raining?

Let me spell it out for you:

The sheer volume of people on the streets of Hong Kong
The sheer shortness of the Chinese population
An impenetrable blanket of moving umbrellas floating at precisely the optimum height to poke me in the eye.

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The number of times I got poked in the face by an umbrella, or the number of times I walked into someone I couldn’t see because they were so fucking short was verging on the ridiculous.

Anyway, that’s enough for today. Class dismissed.

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4 comments » | General, Social Awkwardness

This Glaswegian Life #2

Posted by Philip on October 11th, 2007 — 2:38am

From, it’s This Glaswegian Life. I’m Philip Chan. Our story today in three acts.

Act 1: Personal,
Act 2: Set Yourself On Fire,
Act 3: Look Up.

Act 1: Personal

So let’s get this out of the way, I got a parking ticket.

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When I found the ticket, I knew I would have to blog about it. Not only would I blog about it, but I would go back to Hamilton Drive, take photos and prove to the world that I had not parked illegally. I would then successfully appeal my ticket and then blog about that as well.

But then I found this:

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I learnt a major cultural lesson as a result of this incident. I never really understood why traffic wardens always got such a hard time; surely they’re only doing their job, and if you got a ticket, you clearly deserve it because at the end of the day you did something illegal.

But then you get your first parking ticket and it all changes. I now literally hate Parking Attendant No. PA274, and I don’t even mean a general hatred; this is personal. Know this my friend: I can sleep well tonight knowing that in a few years time I’ll not only be better paid than you, but people will actually appreciate the job that I do. So fuck you, Parking Attendant No. PA274.

Act 2: Set Yourself On Fire

Is pretty much what I was telling myself to do after yet another display of my complete social ineptitude whilst at a gig. Michael has written a beautiful account of what happened already, but I’ll briefly explain it again. Basically I was presented out of nowhere with a social kiss on the cheek situation. My first ever. Until I read Michael’s post, I had actually forgotten that the girl had to fucking point to her cheek before I realised what she wanted me to do.

“First the girl leaned forward. She presented full cheek. She even pursed. Chan delayed, then delayed a little more. Then when the awkwardness reached its climax he decided to delay a little more. When the girl pointed to the left side of her face P! finally took cue.”

Marou, if you’re reading this (I highly doubt it, and hope you aren’t), sorry.

Act 3: Look Up

There was good weather in Glasgow on Sunday, and I can prove it!

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Let me explain. For one day in every week, the beautiful fields of Victoria Park, Glasgow will be taken over by flying pieces of plastic, each circular in shape and weighing 175g, no more, no less. Sunday afternoon is when FarFlung meet, come rain or shine, for outdoor ultimate frisbee.

This particular Sunday was extra, extra special for several reasons. The weather, for a start, was perfect. There was sun, it was cool, and most importantly there was no wind. It was a glorious day for disc. The second reason is that since the main team was busy coming 4th in Stirling, it allowed us fledgling ultimate players to play at our own pace and have some fun. It was great to hear after the games how much of a good time everyone was having.

Lastly, it was special for the simple reason that it almost wasn’t going to happen at all. If it weren’t for all the young enthusiastic frisbee players who turned up on Sunday afternoon, there wouldn’t have been any disc, and I wouldn’t have had an act 3.

Good game, guys.

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Well, I’m Philip Chan, back next week, with more stories of This Glaswegian Life.

4 comments » | Frisbee, Music, Social Awkwardness, This Glaswegian Life

What I’m Trying To Say

Posted by Michael on October 7th, 2007 — 6:09pm

Let’s roll.

Thursday Night (that’s for you Save Pointers out there!) was another great occasion in Glasgow town. I hopped on the X24, spun the wheel on my iPod until I got to the Artist: Stars, and clicked play. I then kicked back for just under three hours on what I can only describe as a perfect Scottish evening. The vast fields of Fife, yellow and barren after harvesting, the thick smog from the industrial chimneys perfectly reflected across the still surface of the water as I crossed at Kincardine, and Glasgow? Not only was it not raining, there wasn’t even a cloud to be seen. Not even a cheeky, little ned cloud. As you can see, even before Stars took the stage, the mood was quite romantic.

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What was the gig like? Well, all I can say is, “Thank God for Canada”. Be it labels who want to be Canadian, or bands who want to be Canadian, or bands that actually are Canadian, indie has one home at the moment – Montreal. Stars are simply amongst the forerunners of them. Like so many Canadian groups, their dynamic is so simple but brilliant:

1. Catchy melodies
2. Heartfelt lyrics
3. Lots of people on stage
4. Beautiful girl/guy harmonies
5. Canadians are awesome

And the best thing about all these great Canadian bands? They all join together as a little indie orchestra. And it’s happening in Glasgow Monday week! Anyway, Thursday night would not only be a lesson in great indie music. The Stars had also determined it would be a lesson in love.

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Early in the night Chan was presented with the “kiss-on-the-cheek” situation. It was an awkward affair all round. First the girl leaned forward. She presented full cheek. She even pursed. Chan delayed, then delayed a little more. Then when the awkwardness reached its climax he decided to delay a little more. When the girl pointed to the left side of her face P! finally took cue. Clearly someone needed a teacher to give him a lesson in smooth. Welcome to the house, Mr Johnston…

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut was littered with flowers as Stars played their immaculate set. When bass player, Evan Cranley, decided to launch several of these into the crowd only one hand was able to snatch it from the air – the hand of a young frizbee player. I am glad to say I was indeed that frizbee player. However, always one fond of breaking hearts, I gave it to the girl behind me who with a deep blush looked to her feet. Though P! and I were separated by mere feet, at that moment it could have been a vast canyon. The Bears may still be struggling, but Johnston has turned this race on its head.

Was that the highlight of the night for me? No, that had to be the faecal feast which P! had prepared. Thanks Phil. It was awesome.

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1 comment » | Music, Social Awkwardness

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