“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Oscar Wilde
In keeping up appearances and trying not to be sucked into another night of House of Cards (because yes, I am the slacker who is now just starting the series), I went to a Euro Circle event in Austin. Euro Circle is a gathering of expats and like-minded folk, meaning those of us obsessed with everything European.
This month the event was at the Stephen F. Austin hotel on 7th and Congress, which is a top-notch hotel known for having Bentley Phantoms and celebrities loitering in front of the entrance. Knowing that, I felt incredibly on point wearing my knock off Miu Miu coat from Shanghai and a pair of jeans to mingle with the inevitably and impeccably dressed Europeans (please cue dripping sarcasm). Walking into the second floor bar felt akin to what an emerging butterfly must feel; the swirls of fabric and conversation quickly enveloped you into a cocoon of elevated elegance. This elegance seems to blossom not strictly from the amount of tastefully dressed Europeans inhabiting 100 sq ft, but from the energy of the people in the room, who, when congregated, generate their own cozy light that becomes a colorful, welcoming embrace.
Going to these events is always an eye opening experience. This time, I ran into my friend Herve who brought along with him several other Frenchmen which elicited a lively conversation through which I was introduced to this lovely woman named Olga who had a particularly genius idea to create a business to offer international legal translation. Eventually this led to an engaging conversation that ended with me being asked to a meeting in a week to further discuss my participation in this venture. This meandering through conversation and people is amazingly easy and fluid in a setting where 90% of the people there are English as a second language.
Having experienced this time and again, it reminds me of the aphorism that : actions speak louder than words. It is amazingly true. Often more so than what someone has to say, it is the way that they treat you that keeps you engaged with them. Congregating with people who are unlike you in background, history and life experiences reminds you that although we are immeasurably different the way we dress and interact with each other, we will invariably migrate toward those who are like-minded and whom with you can enjoy a glass of wine and some company.