Two young women enter a bar.
It’s ten past nine on a Saturday night. One woman is blonde. She typically wears liquid eyeliner with a flourish and the wrong shoes for the occasion. Tonight though, her skin is bare and she’s wearing her feet relax inside an old pair of trainers. The other woman has brown hair. She rarely wears make-up, but tonight it’s her with the liquid eyeliner.
“Sorry I’m late,” says the blonde German woman.
They sit down at a table and the waiter comes over, followed a short while later by another waiter who helps them through the Spanish menu. They each order a can of Fanta and a bite size sandwich. The blonde orders a dish of fries.
On the TV screen at the back of the room Valentino Rossi is shown winning his pole position for the Mugello race the following day. It’s still too early for the bar or restaurant to be busy. As the women chat more people arrive and order food. This is the biggest place in the village you can gather for a beer or glass of wine in the village.
“I didn’t want to go to Barcelona tonight.”
“Me neither. It’s just too exhausting.”
“Yeah, my family think I’m so boring when I don’t want to make anything.”
“The last au pair went into Barcelona every night drinking and making party.”
“The last au pair at my place drank wine every night.”
It’s a quiet, steady conversation. ‘Clumby’ is corrected to ‘clumsy’ and an acknowledgement of how difficult it is to know if something is ‘stronger’ or ‘more strong’. It echoes back to an early conversation debating ‘shyer’ and ‘more shy’. Great amusement is found at the idea that ‘kitchen roll’ is practically the same word in German, ‘Küchenrolle’.
They both explain the make-up discrepancy. The blonde explains she was too tired and had been crying a lot during the day because her friend who had been visiting had left to go home.
“I need the war paint to hide the fact I look like a zombie,” says the other woman.
They both laugh. The blonde woman orders another Fanta.
After a few hours talking, the blonde woman is blinking more frequently than normal trying desperately to get some moisture to her contact lenses whilst her companion is trying her best not to yawn. They both decide it’s time to leave and go home.
A mutual friend sends a message, “Are you at the bar yet?”au-pair