The Italian called me to advise “we’a goin’a far’a, dress up, yea..”.
So, first date and all, dress up I did. I had spent the last fifteen months in a bikini and flip flops so the opportunity to dress up was fantastic. I had a few days to plan my outfit: jeans, casual white top, black blazer, nude nails, minimal make up (I had a really good tan so didn’t overdo the face) and frostings of jewels.
The shoes were a slight issue. I only owned flip flops so I had to borrow a pair of very nice black heels from a friend. The problem was that they were a size too big and anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t walk in heels! I’m like Miss Piggy on crutches! But I had no choice so out I went wearing the borrowed stilettos.
The Italian picked me up promptly at 6pm. Rather early for a first date I thought but he sold it to me by saying we were going to a lovely place and had to be there on time. I was wooed.
The wooing didn’t last for long when at he bottom of the drive way was a scooter and perfectly perched on the seat were two helmuts. “We’re going on that?” I said in a ‘please say no’ tone’.
“Well yea, we’a an’a goin’a far“. I reluctantly slid the helmut over my perfectly straightened hair, rubbing the blusher off my cheeks in the process, and shut the clamp firmly under my chin.
As we sped off sounding like a hair dryer on speed, the Italian slapped me on the leg and winked at me through his visor via the wing mirror. I was not impressed!
After about a ten minute ride, I noticed we were heading towards the M4. Are you kidding me?? we’re going on to the sodding motorway, on a scooter?? Is that even legal??
I was freezing! It was July but in England that means nothing. I was on a scooter, on a motorway, in stilettos and wearing a t-shirt! As first dates go, this wasn’t starting out well at all.
On my travels, I had picked up an amazing necklace at a jewelry market on the outskirts of Bangkok. Naturally a first date was the perfect time to showcase it. Wrong! As it was blowing for e gail wind on the back if the scooter, the stupid necklace had gotten entangled in the helmet strap under my chin. I was freezing AND choking!!
Whilst holding on to the side if the scooter with one hand, I tried to unravel the necklace with the other. My toes were rooted to the scooter step to try and keep myself from falling off. I was effing this and effing that under my helmut and wondering why I had even agreed to go in thus date. I was probably right anyway, he was gay!
Finally, after just over an hour we arrived in Windsor. I got off that scooter like John Wayne, my legs were permanently set to straddle mode, my head had been almost decapitated by my not-so-lovely-anymore-necklace and I hadn’t felt my feet for that half hour!
I composed myself and slid off the helmet to reveal a nest of matted nots that even a pigeon would have requested to be rehoused! I looked a state!
The Italian escorted me and my birds nest into Browns restaurant in Windsor where I immediately made a run for the toilets. Where, I ashamedly borrowed a strangers hairbrush to sort out my locks.
Luckily the meal was nice, the company was, well, different, and the journey home which I was dreading was mildly better as I dressed up in the winter wets that we’re hidden in the scooter seat! Seriously, if there had been any windows on that scooter, any street cred I had would have well and truly gone out of it!
“You’a weren’t’a cold’a eh?” he asked. When my teeth had stopped chattering I told him bluntly “had have I known I would be on a scooter going 70mes an hour down the motorway, I would have dressed appropriately, so yes, I was/am freezing!”.
“But’a i’a told you’a to dress’a up!”
“I did!! Ive got jewelry on and everything!!”
“Yeah but’a in Italy when’a we say’a ‘dress’a up, we’a mean’a dress’a Up a’warm’a”
Oh well, we were not in Italy, we were in England and dress up to me means “wear something’ pretty Darlin'”, not get out your long johns and warmest balaclava!
And that amici, has been the basis of our relationship so far – lost in translation and reading between the lines – and mostly getting it wrong!