Mostly, what these otherwise unconnected stories — unconnected save in that they all happened to me — have in common is me being awkward or uncomfortable. Sometimes both. Enjoy.
I panic. We panic. I swear a lot. It’s basically what you’d expect a scene with two Aussie girls in a little Italian town to look like. There are impatient Italian drivers yelling and gesturing furiously, an old man watching as he smokes from his balcony, horns bleating, lots of nervous sweat, a dog.
400m, 200m, 100m…. And I’m still in predator alley.
At one point the Kangaroo brings chocolate strudel — which the doctor bans. It’s the thought that counts I suppose …but I bloody well wanted that strudel.
By now it’s dark and I’ve begun to imagine what my new life in a Chinese refugee camp will be like. Will I learn the language? Might I fall in love? Will I finally learn to cook rice?
Two vulpine greeters dressed in sleek black take in my outfit from top to toe….
LB and I descend into the pit down a flight of steep, wide steps and I laugh under my breath that it feels like we’re Cinderellas entering the ball. I’m not overexaggerating much. LB attracts male attention anywhere she goes and here men outnumber women at least five to one.
I am fuming. It’s half past ten on a steamy Thursday night and I’m miles from home on a terrifyingly overcrowded dark platform. The next train isn’t due for ages. The tube strike has broken London’s transport system and everyone is miserable. At least I’m not alone in that.
I should have curtseyed.
Somewhere between Aussies in uniform, sweaty boys in Bintang beer singlets, plentiful cheap beers, we had stepped through a black hole to an Australia that never quite existed. It was 4pm. We could stay here all night.
There was only one little problem with this genius plan.