Once upon a time there was a girl who was recently, terribly heartbroken. But instead of staying in Columbus, Ohio at her parents house wallowing in her sorrows, she decided to take a trip. An epic journey of sorts, to various ends of the earth, to learn how others live, meet new people, see new sights and learn more about herself.
She went to Japan, Thailand, and India. She was leaving Delhi and headed to Rome--one of the most romantic cities in the world...by herself.
Or so she thought...
She got up early the morning of her flight, took a taxi to the airport, bid goodbye to India, and slept her way to Qatar, where she had a 2 hour layover. In the airport in Qatar she went into the duty free shop because her friend, Tiffany, has convinced her that an expensive pair of sunglasses is a necessity. While looking at sunglasses she saw 3 men also shopping. The one trying on the glasses was young, well dressed and very nice looking. He was asking the other 2 men for their opinions about the glasses but did not seem satisfied with the responses. They were speaking in Italian so the girl didn't know what was being said. He sees the girl, and says in broken english, "I need the opinion of a woman, which sunglasses do you prefer?" She told him she liked option #1. He thanked her, put the other 2 pair away and purchased option #1. The girl smiled to herself, pleased with the interaction and continued to look at sunglasses, not giving it another thought.
The airport in Qatar was an array of cultures, women completely covered--everything but their eyes, sheiks, travellers, tourists...the girl was fascinated so she waited patiently for her delayed flight watching all that was going on around her. She noticed that the sunglasses boy was sitting nearby, and she wondered if he was on her flight. There were many flights going to various cities in Italy, so the chances were slim. The plane finally arrived and the girl boarded. She walked to her seat, looking forward to 5 hours to sleep. She sat down and looked next to her. It was the older gentleman from the sunglasses shop... and next to him was sunglasses boy. He looked over and smiled, also surprised. He started speaking to the girl over the older man (his father) and the men ended up trading seats. They continued to talk and talk and talk for the entire 5 hour flight. He gave her an Italian lesson, they discussed her trip, his work, Italy, the US, and they watched Happy Feet together in English (because they didn't have it in Italian and they figured it would be the easiest movie for him to understand in English).
Much to the girl's dismay, he was not from Rome, and was headed to his home in the south. When the pilot came over the intercom saying they'd be landing shortly both the girl and boy felt immensely disappointed. They were not ready to part ways. The girl said "I wish you lived in Rome so you could show me around." The boy smiled, leaned over to his father said something in Italian and leaned back and said, "I would like to stay in Rome and show you around. I have a very good friend who lives in Rome, I will call him and tell him I am staying."
The two checked into the same hotel--ironically called "Hotel California" and met his friend for the girls first real Italian dinner--pizza. After dinner they went to a fantastic little bar and had a glass of wine. The day had been long and the girl had been up since 4am so after a glass of wine she was ready for bed.
For the next 4 days the girl and sunglasses boy were inseparable. They saw all of the amazing sights of Rome-- The Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon. They went to see the Pope give mass on Sunday (but arrived a bit late), they took a bus tour, shopped, saw artists on the streets, cooled off in public fountains, ate at all of the cute little outdoor restaurants. The girl could not have imagined a more perfect 4 days if she tried.
They had a connection that neither one of them could put into words (especially since they barely spoke the same language). He could just look at her and know how she was feeling--tired, hot, happy, in awe...and often he was feeling the same way. When they spoke it was as if the language barrier disappeared and they were totally in sync. For them it was effortless, romantic beyond belief, and so, so much fun. They laughed, joked, and sat in stunned silence at the realization of how old their surroundings were.
As the days went on, she learned more and more about him. He is her age, 29, and is a doctor of marine biology. He works now as an electrical engineer/businessman with his family business. He was in Qatar because the business might be expanding into the Middle East. He has a large family, and they are also involved with real estate. He has asked her to come visit, and has offered her a place to stay here:
She has decided after London and Stockholm to skip Paris. Instead, she is going to go down to Southern Italy, to spend more time with this wonderful man. She keeps waiting for the moment she is going to wake up...but for now, she's happy to live in the fairy tale.
Paolo, I know this blog will be hard for you to understand...but when I arrive to Lecce I will explain.
Grazie mia amore. Ti vedrò presto.