my birthday earlier this week by getting up on the 5th at 5am to start work on my new book:


 200 stories . . . of 200 words . . . in 200 minutes.

And this is the first story I wrote (and recorded):

We Can Work It Out

‘Er, Menu A, please. I’ll have the spring roll, special fried rice and sweet ’n’ sour pork.’
    Except I ordered in Spanish, of course, because the menu was in Spanish. ‘Gracias.’ This particular restaurant was nearly always empty, and I had never understood how they could stay in business. Perhaps they couldn’t. Whatever, the service was fast and friendly, the food was pretty damned good, and Menu A was the cheapest set menu in town. In fact, the only drawback was that here was a Chinese family trying to make a living in the Basque Country. It was an unlikely marriage.
    The waitress reappeared shortly with my spring roll.
    Rollo de primavera.’
    ‘Thank you,’ I said, this time in English. My defences were down – you should have seen the spring roll – and my brain had gone into autocruise.
    ‘Bu ke qi,’ she said, smiling mishievously, then taking her leave.

In retrospect, it was one of life’s beautiful moments. So beautiful, I just had to rewind:

    Rollo de primavera.’

    ‘Thank you.’ It’s no good pretending I’m Spanish. I’m not fooling anyone, am I?

    ‘Bu ke qi.’ Hey, don’t worry. I’m not Spanish, either. But we can still be friends, can’t we?