The One-Night Option

I am writing this on yet another over-night train journey and the fact that there is a Brazilian couple on the top bunks above me whispering playful whatevers to each doesn’t actually help writing this post! When you’ve been on the road for the past 4 months and in a steady relationship with your work prior to leaving for the trip, its no smart science to guess that your ‘drive”s pretty much revving to go!

So this story goes down like this. Remember when I mentioned that I made a wrong booking in Budapest and that I had booked an apartment? After a good 20-minutes of lugging my baggage and myself around, I finally found the building. I stood outside ringing the door bell for another 3 minutes when I heard someone across the street calling “Hellooo…This way, please.” Ah ok so it was on the other side of the road but when I got in, I realized it was bar. He asked me to take a seat on one of those bar stools that are absolute ridiculous things to get on and sit however you’ll notice size 10 women with heels always perched on them perfectly otherwise. Anyway I didn’t want to sit, I just wanted the keys so I could go and flop on my bed. He said he didn’t have them and that I’d have to wait so might as well sit down. And it was then, I actually noticed noticed him. He had an accent that I couldn’t place but definitely not European and had really nice olive-tone skin. Yesss, he was actually good-looking and above the 7.0 rating at that, acha. And there I was all sweaty and smelly from no.73…when he knew that I had finally noticed him, he gave me a yes-that’s-right smile that got all my cylinders flamed up! We exchanged pleasantries and I found out he was somewhere from Africa but his mother was French and he had never heard of Fiji but he thought I looked Indian (if I repeat the Leonidas story one more time, I’d go mad!) Anyway he had nothing to do with the apartment but the owner had actually asked him to keep an eye out for me and let him know when I was there. The owners arrived some 10-minutes later, I shook his hand good-bye and he asked me to drop by for a drink sometime while I was there. I didn’t think much about it after that.

The next night, I was walking back to the apartment around 11.30pm when I noticed him behind the bar and the place was actually empty. On impulse, I thought why not take up that offer. But hang on…a girl needs some self-respect so I thought; I’ll have a shower, wash my hair then go across the street. My feet had flared up from the day’s walking around but I stomped around getting ready like I had a mission to go on. Then I farted around my bag looking for a nice simple dress (??) I don’t have any nice simple fucking dresses! Why not, is just beyond me. What I was getting ready for don’t know, but clearly it wasn’t my brain calling the shots here.

By the time, I made it out the door across the street; the outside lights were turned off. Oh. But he was still working inside, and noticed me before I had a chance to turn back. I was seated with a nice glass of wine and he joined me with a coffee (thank goodness – not on the bloody stools but the chairs against the wall) I was already down 3 glasses from dinner and this 4th glass had me nicely settled in a pretty bubble in a way only alcohol can do. As we were talking, my eyes took in the décor and I suddenly notice a nazar boncuğu (I have just spent the last 3 months living in Turkey, duh) hanging on the ceiling next to the blue neon light so its almost miss-able.

Some air whooshed out of my bubble and I asked if he was Muslim?


Slight awkward silence.

You have probleme? No. No probleme. Hindu.

More silence.

YOU have probleme? No, me no probleme.

I have nothing against Muslim men, dear reader so don’t get the wrong idea but when you have been brought up in a society where the two religions still live in separate sectors, you can’t help your prejudices.

So the conversation flowed. I found out that he actually owned the bar and he had 2 others in Italy and Zanzibar ummm…scoreeee!! (And I had interrogated him enough to know he was telling the truth.) One thing lead to another, and pretty soon this African come French man was doing some pretty fabulous things…here and know. Unfortunately for my body, my brain went in commando-mode and took charge. We carefully untangled ourselves and let this oh-so-nice man know that it was time for me to go.

Him: Why?

Me: Because I had an early morning train out of Budapest. He asked me to stay another one night so that he could take me out the next night for dinner.

Me: I’m really not the one-night type.

Him: But if you stay back, it’ll be 2-nights..?

Me: So?

Him: So it won’t be a one-night thing.

Genius. And he was smart and confident enough to laugh at his own lameness! That broke the ice. I hugged him good night and walked out. Back in the apartment, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to actually have taken him up on that offer? My groovy Budapest apartment would be just perfect for a rendezvous and then some in the morning. But then what? I wish I could develop this causal kind of streak, which would make travelling…a bit more comfortable (yes comfortable is the word I would like to use). I’m not one to confuse sex with any other kind of frills. But I’m at that fragile age that I am tired of picking up myself, packing up and moving on. If only I had done this trip years earlier as I had planned, gosh some of the tales I would have weaved!

I think this blogger pretty much sums up everything on how I feel on this subject.

The end result is that I spend too many nights curled up in a cafe with a book or fending off the advances of some nice (or not so nice) guy who sees a girl sitting alone and assumes she must want company or a drink or something more. Is it a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl thousands of miles from home must be in want of a one-night stand? This exasperates and saddens me. Because is it fair for me to expect anything else? If I refuse to settle down, refuse to stay in one place, what other option do I have for companionship?

In the words of one of my friends, “What else did you expect? Anyway…You missed out on a good shag!” Another reason why Budapest exhausted me.

ps. I didn’t wake up the next morning and missed my train and I did not take up on his dinner offer. Buttt I did see him again (by chance)…and the rest of it some other time (no that story won’t contradict this post!) 😀

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