Waking up in an unfamiliar bed is one thing. Waking up in an unfamiliar house is also one thing. Waking up in a completely different country is something else.
The air was warm in a way that you knew it was winter instantly and the houses heating was working into overtime to keep us comfortable. I was groggy from jet lag and noticed that it was still dark in the room. It wasn’t quite time to wake up, but I was fully awake. I glanced at the clock and noticed that it was 4:30 in the morning… 8:30 at night back home. Rolling over, I looked at my boyfriend still asleep and couldn’t believe that any of this was actually happening. I was dating an Australian guy who I couldn’t have been more in love with, and hey, I was living here now. A little over a year ago I was dating a huge douche bag that broke up with me by changing his relationship status on facebook… It’s amazing how quickly things change and how your life can be one thing one moment, and something completely different the next. All it takes is saying hi to one person on the street, or maybe deciding that you don’t want to be a college athlete anymore and in all of your new spare time, you meet someone you never would have before.
Okay, I’m not saying that life is like the movies and that you accidentally run into someone and drop all of your papers and they help you pick them up, or that you run into that person again on a train and you end up falling head over heals in love with each other or whatever, but crazier shit has happened in life, so why not at least be open to it? I mean, I did it.
I slowly stood up and walked to the door to head to the bathroom and creaked the door open cautiously . As soon as the door opened though, a huge gust of cold air hit me and I shut it instantly and burrowed back into the blankets. You see, when electricity is as expensive as it is here, there’s no need to heat the places you’re not using. Like hallways for example.
Guess I was going to have to wait till morning or risk my toes falling off.
Nestling back into my comfy spot I relaxed my mind, put my cold feet on my boyfriends legs, and fell back into a deep sleep.
The whole day was a blur of breakfast and errands. I mean, I needed shampoo and it had been a couple of days since I last shaved. It was time.
Then it was time to go out into the city. My stomach did flips like it always did and I knew that the night was going to be special.
Tonight was our first official date.
Now yes yes yes, I know we’ve been dating for 8 months, but we mostly did all of that through long distance. As crazy as this sounds, we had only met each other twice before deciding to embark on a long distance relationship.
Talk about commitment.
So we got to our hotel (since home was a good 45 minute drive from the city) and it turned out that we had a room upgrade. Our luck was off to a great start.
The room was on a corner and two sides of the bedroom were completely glass to show off the cities streets. It was breathtaking. Trams slid on by with ease, people walked the streets with confidence and grace, rain splashed up against the window as my warm breath fogged it. It was as if the world had a silver tint to it. Nothing looked real. The only colors I saw were splashes of green as the trees and grass expanded to the gardens across the street. Warm arms wrapped around me and I felt a kiss on my head. I felt content. I was still the country girl from Alabama, but now I was growing into something more. Something I was very proud of.
I got dressed for the date night with ease, seeing as how I had already picked out my outfit back at home. I was wearing a red dress with black lace adorned to the top of it with a set of black boots to keep my feet nice and toasty.
Then we were off! We locked hands and ran through the rain, forgetting our umbrellas completely back at home, and laughing all of the way to the tram stop. My hair was then soaked but a smile was plastered to my face. Then the tram flew by and almost took out my whole right side (okay maybe just my elbow). My heart raced and I jumped back about 50 feet. The date hadn’t even started yet and I was going to go ahead and get myself killed! I didn’t go through 26 hours of traveling just to die. My mother would be so upset.
But my boyfriend took me in his arms and shook his head, obviously forgetting that I wasn’t used to this type of environment and more people probably died from getting run over by cows than trams back at home.
I couldn’t help but laugh and also shake my head. This was all going to take some getting used to.
We made it to the restaurant and decided to first go down stairs to play pool and have a drink. This was a fancy place and back home if you wanted to play pool you had to go to a bar, not some place that has probably the most expensive pool tables you’ve ever seen. Okay, that I’ve ever seen. And with my track record, you obviously already know that I haven’t seen much.
My boyfriend kicked my butt in pool a couple of times before it was time to finally eat. And let me tell you, I was pretty hungry.
In all of the talk we had had in the past couple of months about this night, I was dead set on getting a bottle of champagne since I was actually legal in this country, and ya know, since it was such a special night. But we eventually decided on a glass each to start off with, and then if we liked it we would get more.
I’m so happy we only got a glass.
Champagne was not my thing.
But the food was delicious. We decided on the meat carvery (lamb and another type of meat) but I mostly feasted on the salad and soup. I had also decided that lamb wasn’t really my thing either.
Then it was time for dessert. And let me tell ya peeps, that dessert table was like stepping foot into heaven.
The table was round with a chocolate fountain in the middle. Small portions of cakes and cookies and fruit were placed throughout the entire setting. My boyfriend and I were not shy. We grabbed a plate and got one of each, smiling at each other when we saw one that we were pretty sure we’d die over. Then we sat back at the table and took one bite out of each of them, occasionally sharing one that we really liked with the another. It didn’t take long for us to regret our hasty decision of trying each dessert though. Soon we were left barely able to breath and we giggled at our “misfortune”.
The night was romantic. The tall windows viewed out onto the lit up city and the rain seemed to have been trying to clear up. The candle flickered next to our intertwined hands and I sipped tentatively on my glass of champagne.
We decided it was then time to go and (try) to walk up to the next tram. The lights of the city reflected off of our eyes and our hearts as well as our bellies were full and content. Our hands never let go of one another as we made our way back to the hotel. I was tired and my head was a little fuzzy from the one glass of poison (the only let down of the night). My boyfriend then stopped me outside of the room and told me to wait. I, being the realist that I am, was a tad concerned. I sat down on the sofa in the lobby outside of our room and tapped my foot impatiently, different scenarios running through my mind.
Maybe the date didn’t go so well after all? Maybe he was disappointed in me after not seeing me for 8 long months? Maybe he was trying an exit strategy and tying the sheets together and making his way off of the bedroom balcony?
This was not something I was good at doing. I sat out there for what seemed like an eternity. I was thinking about what I would do if I were abandoned in a strange country on the other side of the world with no cell service when the door opened up and a head popped out.
“Okay, come in.”
He sounded nervous.
As soon as I walked through the door though, all of my crazy and stupid scenarios were out of my head.
Candles were lit all over the room. Obviously against the rules of the hotel, but neither of us cared.
Tears stung my eyes and that damn smile was still plastered to my lips. This was the sweetest thing ever. The lights from the candles blurred in my vision as I glanced back at my boyfriend.
“I love you,” I whispered. “I’m so happy you didn’t jump off of the balcony.”
Until Next Time!!!