I wanted a European date. Maybe several. Surely it was a crucial part of the European experience. Yet I’d been away for 5 1/2 weeks and seemed to be doing a rubbish job of achieving this. 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 one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen. 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 with a Barcelonian and my two kiwi friends (safety in numbers!) He’s wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “sorry ladies I’m in the night watch.” Interesting choice.
He’s lovely. Not quite my type, but I did receive an invite to visit Barcelona. Unfortunately my travels are taking me in the other direction. Next stop Italy.
Ahhh Italia!! After nannying here many summers ago I have so much love for this place which comes rushing back as soon as I arrive. I think I’ll become so besotted with the country itself I’ll forgot all about the desire to get a date.
And a brief look at men around the world…