Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shiny Suits and Pointy Shoes

Formal events emphasise fashion faux pas and the gulfs in perceptions between what is considered sexy, formal, casual, alluring and provocative. Tajikistan is a very formal country, the men dress conservatively in black trousers and precision pressed shirts, whilst the women glide around in traditional floral two-piece garments somewhat akin to a velvety seventies curtain set.

Therefore, when a formal invitation requesting my presence at the Queen’s 83rd Birthday Celebration at the Hyatt Hotel, a certain degree of panic set in. One does not want to let the side down, does one, when representing ones country on the international arena. I’m sure my other 44 countrymen were having the same agonising pangs of patriotism.

After assessing the wardrobe, an oversized hand me down Calvin Klein shirt, a pair of reliable M&S trousers, a rejected wedding tie, only shoes were amiss. An arduously sticky bus journey to the Quorvon Bazaar, presented an opportunity to test my pigeon Tajic and acquire a ‘one –time’ wear pair of local daps. The market modelled itself on a rush hour tube ride, and patience drenched my shirt. After a ten-minute eternity of wandering around a labyrinth of cheap Chinese pap, goose pimples start appearing on my arm and my hair stood on end as I entered the nylon charged clothing section. Thankfully, purchase time was minimal, as the shoe emporium offered only one style; black and pointy, reassuringly there were several thousand to choose from.

Waiving the gold scripted invitation we shook the hand of the ‘Trev’ - the British ambassador and proceeded up the steps to the main hall. Now if your shoes are twice the length of your feet and half the depth of the steps. It doesn’t take much out to work out the maths, walking around in shinny flippers and having to ascend stairs in a backwards fashion always draws a little attention. Thankfully, this digression was quickly diverted by a rousing chorus of the respective National Anthem’s, speeches as bland as the ambassador’s suit, and fish and chips served in posh newspaper, washed down with pims, gin, and London Pride. The tajiks swarmed in impeccable shiny suits, any mass movement created an eerie shimmering wave effect, the Russians wore short lacy dresses and the American’s tested the strength of the Armani stitching. At the end of the evening the Brits faired well in the international dance off to Spandau Ballet renditions, only to be piped by the German’s, who deservedly won the coveted robotic dancing award.

Too Good: The British tax payer forking out for such an extravagant event.

Too Bad: Being a British Tax payer.

1 comment:

tentonipete said...

haha love the bit about the shoes!

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