So, I met someone.
It's not like it sounds. At least, not on my part. While in West Sumatra, during the two-hour drive from Padang to Bukittinggi, in a public car filled with off-duty policemen from Bandung, West Java, all of them chain smoking, one of the policemen, after about an hour, started the conversation I had dreaded all along: Where was I from? Where was I going? How old was I? Was I married?
We chatted amiably for the rest of the drive, him curious about this female foreigner traveling alone, me bored and sick to my stomach but, at least, in some small, enjoying a chat with eye candy precisely my age. When we arrived in Bukittinggi he asked for my number and, because I'm a sucker for a pretty face in a uniform, and because I cannot, in fact, be taught (sorry Katya), gave it to him. He has called me several times after that, always in the middle of the night, and I've always ignored his calls.
So, finally, giving up on calling, today he SMSed me, making his feelings clear. I give you, in all its text-message glory, the lamest attempt at picking up on me I've ever seen. And, seeing as the last few boys who asked me out used email, that's saying something.
Harry: So now you're arrogant, huh? So our acquaintance was only in Bukittinggi?
Hannah: It's just that you've always called me when I'm asleep. Don't call in the middle of the night! Duh!
Harry: Oh. Okay. I'm sorry. So where are you now? Now I'm in Bogor. Do you already have a boyfriend?
Hannah: I'm back in Semarang already. And yes, I already have a boyfriend. His name is Biff.
Harry: Suppose an Indonesian guy liked you. How about it? Would you want to be his girlfriend?
Hannah: Perhaps, but for me the important thing is a shared religion. And I already have a boyfriend who's my same religion.
Harry: Do you want to become my girlfriend? I've liked you since I saw you in the car: you're pretty, smart, and also tall.
Hannah: Well, thank you for the compliments, but my boyfriend in America is big and strong and probably wouldn't like it if I found a boyfriend here. We can be friends, though.
Harry: Okay. I'm happy to know you.
Hannah: Yep. Me too.
Luckily, as it turned out, this superlatively lame attempt was also superlatively easy to reject. I'm going to have to remember this whole Biff-the-big-strong-American-Mormon-boyfriend idea; it's easier, for me, than training myself to refuse to give out my number in the first place. And maybe, just maybe, with that lie in place, all those would-be Single Male Searchers (SMSers) can learn to resist the siren call of my pretty, smart, tall, American passport-holding self.
Oh, and if anyone happens to know any big strong American Mormons named Biff, send them my way. I'm looking to meet someone.