During Valentine’s Day weekend this year, I visited a friend studying at Oxford for a day with my ex. I met her in 2008, in which she spent almost a year as my flatmate and then left Berlin in fall of 2009 as she didn’t want to be single and under or unemployed like some of her friends in the city. She first went to Shanghai to write a book (in Dutch) on migrant Chinese workers, now published and in your local Dutch bookstores. She then started a PhD at Oxford in East Asian Studies and is now in Ethiopia doing research work on Chinese investment in the country, interviewing Chinese construction workers (I think) building infrastructure in the country. She has probably already mastered some Ethiopian language and as another friend puts it, speaking with local tribesman by now.
When we finally met her for a drink and dinner, she confessed that it had been very hard for her to find good Italian food in England. But recently, she went to a place that had really good oblong pizzas and calzones, would we like to go? I thought it was a bit strange and unexpected knowing how she likes to go native where ever she was, but went with the flow. It turned out to be a chain my ex knew called Zizzi and the pizzas there were good. I fell in love with the pizzas and the colorful plates on the walls looking like buttons. During our meal, I noticed my friend had huge blisters on her hands from rowing causing concern. However, she was more concerned whether I would be able to afford dessert and I told her yes, I’m now earning minimum wage.