I’m trying to think of some analogies for the predicament I find myself in.
When it rains it pours. Feast or famine perhaps?
Basically, after months of solo dining, all off a sudden I find myself going on a date with an Italian man, when I actually want to be going on a date with an Englishman.
It was really just a case of first in first served.
I met the Italian on the train to Pompeii and while he’s not really my type, he’s very sweet and buys me a coffee and asks me out to dinner at Da Michele – the most famous Napoli pizza joint, and yes, the one in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ where Julia Roberts stuffs her face.
I say yes, after all it’s better than dining by myself – again.
But as I’m killing time at the hostel I meet an incredibly beautiful English guy, who’s at the end of his cross-continental bike trip.
I would have cancelled on the Italian but he knows where I’m staying and I don’t know how to contact him.
Shit could get awkward.
So I go, reluctantly.
When I arrive at Da Michele the Italian’s not there, so I grab a number and wait (you have to queue outside for at least half an hour just to get a table).
45 minutes later and my number’s called. The Italian’s still not here.
Screw it, I’ve waited this long for apparently the best pizza in the world so I order for myself.
He arrives right as I’m presented with my beer and double cheese margarita pizza (they only do three kinds: margarita, margarita with double cheese and marinara).
They won’t let him sit down, so he waits outside for me as I dine solo – again. Oh the irony.
We have a beer afterwards, but he freaks me out when he tells me he’s the next in line of his five brothers to marry.
I abort the date and manage to get back to the hostel in time to go get gelato with the English guy.
Just like in the movie ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ he’s got all the skills I’m looking for in a travel buddy – poached egg cooking skills, map reading skills, road crossing skills, look beautiful in polar fleece pants skills, speak pigeon Italian after only two weeks in Italy skills, make me feel incredibly safe in dodgy Naples skills, and make me laugh skills – although the only joke I got first time round was: ‘what do you call a Mexican who’s lost his car?’
My skills are putting my foot in it, like when I told him I don’t really like my middle name (forgetting it’s the girl version of his first name) and asking if his watch was a genuine Casio.
He just looked at me weirdly, but the reason I asked was it’s the same watch I nearly bought in Cambodia – but that one was a genuine fake.
But after delaying the inevitable he had to go back to London while I headed to the Amalfi Coast and now the only reminder I have that he did actually exist is the genuine Casio on my wrist.