I’d bumped into him at the airport, got chatting and in a rare lapse of reason, decided to share a taxi back into town.
“Are you married?” He’d asked, out of general politeness and to fill the gaping silence that had grown between us after a few kilometres on the highway.
The stuttering conversation had to this point flitted around the usual where are you from, what do you do staples of expat discourse, punctuated by his half-Thai, iPad-engrossed child occasionally making high pitched squawking noises.
He was Canadian, worked in IT, middle aged with a gut that had obviously lost the battle against the combined forces of Chang and massaman curry.
“Yes,” I said “Had our wedding in the UK in the summer”.
“Oh,” he asked quizzically “where is your wife from?” eyebrow raised.
“Oh” he said again, looking like a child with slightly too difficult maths homework in front of them, “that’s unusual here. Couldn’t marry a white woman myself.”
I frowned slightly.
“I go Asian every time” he added, nudging my ribs and wiggling his eyebrows.
My frown got deeper.
“Got a bit of yellow fever, if you know what I mean?”
“Not really” I said and sat in silence for the rest of the journey.