I bleat a lot about how people in Australia don’t date. This is one of the reasons why I am very much looking forward to moving to LA where the dating culture is vibrant and prolific.
Now I’m just starting to think that maybe I only need to live in a city, where there are so many more people that I don’t know. Last night while at a hen’s night in the city (tasteful hen’s, might I add) I met The Balkan Lift Guy.
Returning from the bar, I found that a number of our previously well held seats had been taken over. The lounge chair next to mine was now occupied by an interesting looking male who I had to tip-toe and shimmy past to get to my spot, which now had a mountain of handbags on it. After relocating the handbags, I sank back in the chair and rested my ringless left hand on the arm.
While joking with the girls I noticed this guy beside me behaving in the kind of way you do when you are thinking about what to say to someone to open a conversation. So the conversation started with “That’s a nice watch. It suits you.” My thanks for the compliment was speedily returned with “What brand is it?” and less than a heartbeat later “Is it a Guess?” When I said “That was a good Guess” (because it is indeed a Guess watch) he admitted to having studied it close enough to read the name on the face.
He asked all the standard questions, including one question which I only ever get when in the city “Where are you from?” This is not a “Where do you live” type question, but more a “What is your ethnic heritage” question. Playing coy and curious, I asked (as I always ask) “Where do I look like I’m from?” His reply was more vague than others I’ve received over the years, with a continental “European” response. I’ve had all sorts of nationalities like Italian, Brazilian, Argentinian and once I even got Egyptian as responses. The truth is far less exotic than that. Both sides of my family have been in Australia for more than 150 years. The most recent immigrations in my family are my grandmother’s Irish father and my other grandmother’s German grandmother. The rest is all just a mix of English and Scottish heritage.
His response to my right-back-at-you question was “the Balkans, you know, Yugoslavia, Macedonia”. I have heard of Iranians calling themselves Persians but I hadn’t ever heard of Macedonians saying they are from the Balkans.
Another speed date style of question from The Balkan Lift Guy was “How old are you?” I’m not one of these girls that subscribes to the theory that women never reveal their true age. I actually like being told that I look five or six years younger than I really am, because that is often the case. He was somewhat taken aback so I asked if that was way older than he’d expected, and said that usually people think I’m 25 or 26. That was what he had been thinking, but then again, given that he was 24, no wonder he was taken aback.
His subsequent comment was one that continues to baffle me “You know there’s a European saying that is ‘The older the woman, the better they suit'”. My Google search isn’t shining any light on that one. Perhaps you know what The Balkan Lift Guy was talking about? I’m not sure what better type of suiting I am to a younger man.
Anyways, what was nice was that when I had to leave after 10 minutes of conversation he said “If you weren’t moving overseas, I would have asked for your number.” And I would have given it to him. Maybe dating isn’t dead in Australia. Maybe it just got lost in the country.