I wanted a European date. Several. Surely it was a crucial part of the European experience. Yet I’d been away for a month and seemed to be doing a rubbish job of achieving it. After meeting far too many drunken Australians and Kiwis at hostels there had to be a different way. Tinder?
I’d tried it for a very brief 24 hour period in New Zealand where I ran into the Ex, as well as virtually every single guy in my industry. I quickly swore off it. Europe however was surely a different ball game. And so the social experiment begins.
Phase 1 – Voyeurism
I’ve always been fascinated by how people from different countries look. What better way to get a broad scope of the locals look?
Phase 1 was purely swiping. Screen grabbing a few good looking candidates to message girlfriends with a chuckle.
Phase 2. Chatting.
Well, I am single I reasoned. I may as well do something with this new found singledom. Like talking. Yes talking, I seemed to be good at that.
I sent a Finnish guy what I thought was a hilarious message.
“I’m doing research into how many Finnish men have blonde beards”
I was instantly unmatched. Dammit. My great humour clearly wasn’t appreciated.
I also needed to work on the frequency I checked my messages. I always seemed to be exactly 500km away by the time I was replying to someone’s message.
Phase 3. Meeting.
It was time to go on a European date. All for research sake I told myself, think of the great stories to tell! Candidate 1 was to be an exceptionally cute Spaniard. I’d already charmed him with my exceptionally average Spanish.
Getting on a bus at Lake Bled, and who is about to get off but him? I catch his eye in a moment of recognition. Do I smile? I decide on blue steel. I sneak a look, he is beautiful. Dammit should have smiled.
“You creep!” my friends proclaim, “How did you recognise him”?
“I’m good with faces”
“He is so your type”
It turns out I apparently do have a type. Where did this strange fetish for beards and hipsters come from?
A few hours later I’m having dinner with the girls and get a message
“Hey I think I saw you today”
My blue steel was recognised!
“You look pretty and familiar”
The girls shriek with delight, and I swoon a little.
“What did you think of me?” He asks.
“You look like the actor from Motorcycle diaries.” It’s true, he does.
“So shall we get a drink?”
Next thing I’m on my first ever Tinder date. He’s wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “sorry ladies I’m in the night watch.” Interesting choice.
He’s lovely. And I receive an invite to visit Barcelona, but unfortunately my travels are taking me in the other direction. Next stop Italy.
Ahhh Italia!! I nannyed here many summers ago and became so besotted with the country itself. Maybe I’ll forgot all about my desire to go on dates. Maybe.
And a brief look at men around the world…