On Thursday night I was out on a girlie night with other women from my team. We were defying the credit crunch. Yes, spend your way out of the recession :)
We went to Meza in Soho which a pretty cool place to hang out, although we all thought the food was over-priced. The cocktails were super though, so that made it worth it. In the basement, there is a Cuban place called Floridita where you can dance the night away. I left after dinner but the others continued into the night.
Anyway, we had a really interesting discussion during dinner about our "local communities". There were 4 of us : one Bruneian (me), a Korean, an Iraqi and one Bulgarian. We are all about the same age; two married and two single. One thing we all had in common was that we didn't hang around with people from our "home communities" in London - in fact, most of us actively avoided them.
Although it's nice to meet people from home sometimes, I just don't think it's worth the hassle because (I've found) that they can be the most nosy and judgemental. They will ask you lots of questions, not because they are genuinely interested, but because they are trying to weigh up your income, your husband's income, your lifestyle etc.
As my Bulgarian friend said - the killer questions are : Where do you live? In a house or a flat? Where do you work? What car do you drive?
You can practically see the wheels in their brain turning while they try to calculate your "standard" ..... whether you live in a four bed penthouse in Chelsea (envy) or a one bed council flat in Croydon ( oh dear).
My Iraqi friend added that the worst is when people judge your lifestyle and drag your family into it as well.
This is why you will never find me hanging around in Brunei Hall or tramping around the streets near Bayswater/Queensway. I like being lost in London.