Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Trouble with Airline Snogs that they think they're airline shags. I had to get rid of Angelo. (Big Fluorescent Post-it to Self: Never give a one-flight snog your mobile number.) I was in London recently on holiday and he flew from Venice to have dinner with me. To set this up, he called me. And IMed me. And emailed me. (“I would do any acrobatics for an evening of your life while you are in Europe”). Nobody speaks like that in real life. Not even in Italy. I know I’m a good snog – and I have the most moist, luscious lips – but this was verging on the ridiculous.

Dinner was at a very mediocre place in Covent Garden that he must have thought was 'quirky' and 'charming'. Look, I have no objections to 'quirky' or 'charming' (although I personally would exchange it for an overpriced cut of sashimi at Nobu any day) but anyone will tell you that Morrocan-Egyptian-Tunisian fusion cuisine is a bit of a risk to start with. And when what I ordered turned up looking like prison slop, I dutifully ate a few mouthfuls and declared defeat. Just looking at my plate gave me flatulence.

The conversation would also have been better had I not been so busy pretending that I was sorrowful and morose over some life misfortune. This was my excuse for ending dinner early and begging to be allowed home. Usually I’m not so deceitful, but I just knew that a mundane headache or “I’m really tired” would never have worked. It had to be…*dramatic pause*…Heartbreak. Grief. Terminal illness. Only a personal misfortune of Tolstoy-ian proportions could counteract Angelo’s all-consuming passion. He insisted on sending me back in a taxi. Not before he stole another kiss in a random phone booth that reeked of English beer and piss.

“I want you to know that meeting you has given me more joy, smiles, food for thought and material for my book of life.”

“Well, it was nice to meet you too – if only all my flights are so eventful,” I laugh awkwardly and squirm out of his grasp. And then thankfully, the night is over.

I should have told Angelo then and there that I couldn’t see him again but it would have been difficult face-to-face. You know...I’m Asian, he's Italian; I’m Cantonese opera, he's Commedia dell'Arte; I use nuances, he uses hyperbole; but one can't really hide behind the multitude of cultural excuses forever. Truth is, I'm not a very confrontational person, and I find it so much easier to just go on 'holiday' and never come back. Also I could tell that with Angelo, it would have taken some serious effort to shake him off, and I wasn't quite ready to give him marching orders in person. I know this is irresponsible and ultimately more hurtful in the long run, especially since I'm the one who usually starts things up in the first place (read: keep away from me on airplanes) but have been warned!

It’s a pity because I genuinely found Angelo funny, intellectual, soulful, easygoing with a great sense of irony. He writes well too, which I always have respect for. It would have been nice to have been friends with him. But Venice will have to wait for now, I guess.