A couple of weeks ago, I headed off on some travels. I’m back! As much as I’d love to tell you more tales about coins getting stuck in all the wrong (or right?) places, I think it’s time for a quick update on what I’ve been up to. First up, Italy.
Trieste, Italy (19th to 21st July)
We started our journey in North East Italy, close to the Slovenian and Croatian borders. Trieste is a beautiful city with beautiful weather. We ate lush tomatoes, we drank homemade hangover-free wine, we swam to a nudist beach. But most of that is kind of boring, so let me tell you about a more unique experience we had one evening…
Our Italian friend picks us up to drive us to a restaurant. He’s looking suave as fuck – shirt, jeans, shoes. On the other hand, I can hardly handle these cicada-filled but oh-so-warm Italian evenings, so it’s shorts and t-shirt all the way. My mate makes a joke along the lines of “if I’d know you were putting in this much effort…” to which our Adriatic buddy replies “well, I am on a date”.
We pick up the driver’s date. The penny drops.
We arrive at the restaurant and it’s pretty damn nice. We’re some way up a mountain on the outskirts of Trieste, with vineyards on the one side and an immense view over the city on the other. It’s really romantic….but I’m not quite sure our boy is trying to romance us. The restaurant itself is Italian, but follows an old Slovenian tradition of opening up for eight days over the summer. Everything we’re served is homemade, so it’s a solid menu of cheeses, meats, bread and wine.
Things are hotting up on date night. I’m struck by the intensity of this flirtation – noses are a breath apart, eyes unblinkingly locked in and deep voice vibes from Mr Loverman. My man is on the chirpse, big time! Still, this basically means that me and my travelling pal can just eat a shitload of cheese while the couple are distracted.
We’ve shifted position now so that we’re directly on the balcony overlooking the city. Me and my homeboy have discretely split to give the other two some space and, since it’s a loving sort of night, I’m discussing my own love life. In the meantime, lips are locking a step to the left. We are duly informed that our Roman friend and his date will be taking a short ‘moonwalk’. I assume they’re not off to bust moves like Michael.
That moonwalk took some time! We’re now sitting in the date’s apartment, drinking even more delicious wine. See, the issue is that our B&B is in a village out of town that our guy needs to drive us to. Unfortunately – and rather forseeably – he’d like to stay with his date. Even if he didn’t, we don’t really fancy our chances being driven down a series of winding Italian backstreets by a man well over the limit. We suggest that an Uber might be the solution and are laughed at for our London-centric intuitions.
By this point we are resigned to the prospect of sleeping in a room adjacent to our star-crossed lovers. So I take the opportunity to talk Pablo Neruda and other love poetry to the young woman our friend is waiting to romance.
Time hates love, wants love poor, but love spins gold, gold, gold from straw.