Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Romance with Travel: The Night In Florence

Sometimes I decide I am through, forever through, with travel.

I had spent a beautiful weekend in Rome with someone I had left behind in England. The cost of travel was seeming pretty high. (And au pairing had mostly brought cleaning up food and soil and oil and having plates thrown at my head.) So after three delayed trains in a row, I ended up stuck in Florence for the night.

I know, it sounds like a good thing. But not after Rome, not after seeing him again.

Wandering out of the station with the intention of finding a hostel, I bumped into this guy. Well, he stopped me asking where he should go next. Then said, 'wow, you have such presence.' At which point I was already thinking, ‘will you just fuck off? I’m heart broken.’

When I asked him how old he was he said 17000 because I live every day as if it’s ten years. I asked him again and he said 3, because I never stop asking questions and the world is new. I said will you get to the fucking point, and he said 19. 

Pretty much the same thing with asking him his name:‘I don’t believe in names as they tie you to an identity’. 

He also made his own clothes as he thought we should express ourselves more freely. It was some kind of long dress that had an elegance and looked quite Eastern, as well as filthy and in desperate need of a wash. He also had shoes that were too big, and I might have thought he was homeless, except that he had a macbook pro.

He’d come to ‘Italia’ (I’m pretty sure ‘si’ and ‘Italia’ were his only Italian so he insisted upon using them constantly) to get a pen handmade by someone who promised to do it if he wrote an important essay with it.

He said one and only one interesting thing: Apparently ants use significantly more energy than we do (20 times more?) and yet they have no damaging impact. His explanation: clearly the Fourth Dimension. He then went on to write in reverse to show me the new 4D language he was forming.

So, I ended up wandering through Florence at night with him.

Him and a Portuguese guy who we met when he stopped us in the rain by saying, ‘Look! That’s where the cloud stops! I’ve always wondered where that happens…’

The Portuguese guy actually seemed fairly down to earth, minus his really annoying question to nameless guy: ‘So you like philosophy; does that mean you smoke weed?’

And there was a girl from Rome. The Portuguese guy's temporary girlfriend. They would break up when he went to Venice.

So the four of us went to ponte vecchio at night, and there were the padlocks. I don’t care what other people say. I think they’re cute. Each of them is where someone has said to someone else, ‘I care’. And that’s beautiful. 

It was pretty but I was trying to get back home after my Roman adventure. I’d done Florence another time, my head was spinning from the guy I'd left to travel, and I just wanted today to be yesterday so it could be a little less raw.

And there was Roman Girl blabbing on about, ‘where chance meets chance… destiny is at the crossroads’ meanwhile Too Much of a Twat for a Name Guy was sounding like he was being laid. ‘Oh yeah! Oh wow! Ahhhhhh! Where chance meets chance!’

Around 4, through the rain, I made it back to the train station. No Name still following. He took it up again, despite my insistent and explicit Not Interesteds.

‘Am I not courageous enough for you?’

Well, I've never been asked that before.

I got the train and had all of half an hour's sleep before going straight to another day of 4 crazy Italian boys.

And still, I didn't break up with travel.


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