Why You Should Not Lie

And no, it’s not because of some ethical or religious considerations. It is because the world is just too small.

I was attending Futuresonic 2009 this year. I was at the fest for the first time in 2006; and the company I work for now sent me there as the delegate (considering I was so keen myself). As always, I took pictures, even made a short video record, and livetweeted some talks at the Social Technologies Summit. I even got to try out two of the recommended eateries that offered discounts to delegates… but I was barely able to catch music, arts or EVNTS projects that were a part of the festival.

Saturday, the last day of the festival, was also the only day when I was able to go to Environment 2.0 exhibition at Cube Gallery in Manchester’s Portland St, that also features a series of collaborative projects undertaken by Yamaha and Royal College of Art. I caught one music act on the opening day, 13 May, so I decided to go to an EVNT. To skip to the end of the story, I now know why I’m not so keen on clubbing or going to the bars in the evening. I initially went to Common in Edge St; in the matter of 10 mins I was in Odd in Thomas St where I stayed until a later meeting with friends. I quite like Odd Bar, after all.

And now the story about why you should never lie. At least, when you’re female, and you go on your own into a bar packed with men.

I came some 10 mins before the change of DJs. I asked for a glass of Cola, while also noticing that the place looked too dark. In the dense air, to the deafening music, people with pints of bitter or lager were having a good time, as we say.

Just as I was standing there, a young man with a glass approached me. I didn’t take a notice, although his intention to talk to me was obvious. And so, patting me lightly on the shoulder, he said:

-What’s your name?

I was determined I wouldn’t give out any information about myself, although I was prepared to use some life experience and knowledge, if needed. I replied:

-Ann.

-Where do you live?

-In Manchester.

-Whereabout in Manchester?

As you can see, he was very sociable.

-In Clifton.

-I don’t know it.

-Yes, it’s not central.

-Where do you work?

I thought later when I was at home that I should’ve said that I was a lawyer, and then perhaps my intention not to uphold this conversation would materialise. Maybe I’m wrong in thinking so. But there at the bar I somehow thought that standing face to face with a journalist would have the desired effect.

-I’m a journalist.

-Oh, you’re a journalist. – He sounded as if he didn’t quite believe me. Perhaps, he couldn’t imagine a journalist ever visiting this bar. – What paper?

-It’s not for paper, I’m a radio journalist. – I noted with relief that the new DJs whom I wanted to listen had just started setting up their act.

But he was tireless.

-What radio station do you work for?

Well, I could convincingly brag about two radio stations, but one was too local and little known…

-I work for the BBC.

Boy, did he get excited!

-Ah, and I’m an architect, and I work on the New Broadcasting House!

The rest of the talk was a quick exchange of thoughts about the New Broadcasting House, when I told the guy he wouldn’t be seeing me in Salford because I worked at the Radio Manchester, and we weren’t going to move anywhere from Oxford Road. Then it struck him that he could introduce me to the DJs or producers of the previous act, and he was working ever so hard trying to get them from across the table by the window towards the doorway where I stood. My Cola finished, I felt the only way was out, especially since I managed to do some recording.

I disappeared.

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