I wait twenty minutes to be served in Vodafone. But it’s worth the wait.
I ask for a pay-as-you-go sim and we establish quickly that I don’t live here (I don’t need the bigger data package and my accent’s a little wacky).
Where are you visiting from? she says.
Australia, I say.
Oh! She says. My best friend’s about to move there!
Her best friend went to travel but ended up meeting an Australian man. They moved back to England together but now he’s proposed and they’re returning to Perth. The wedding’s in Europe though. Italy. They wanted somewhere in the middle. Well, not in the middle but, you know. She’s the maid of honour and is worrying about making a speech and getting a good dress. But she’s excited. She’s happy for her friend, even if she will miss her. She’s going to go visit her in Australia though. Next year, once they’ve settled. Her friend says that once she’s visited, she’ll want to move there, too.
Yeah, I say, You will.
No, she says, There are spiders there. I’m not about that life.
I haven’t seen that many spiders, I say.
Sure, but how big are the spiders that you have seen?
Um, I say.
Nope, she says, You hesitated. Don’t even bother ’cause I know you’re going to lie to me.
She hands over my phone with the new sim in it.
Anyway, she says, what are you doing over there?
I met an Australian man, I say.
Oh, she says, They’re all the same.
A version of this post was sent by email on the 9th February 2019 as part of Internet Care Package – a weekly memoir project in the form of a newsletter. It also includes links to the best things I’ve found on the internet each week and occasional updates on my theatremaking. This blog is a select archive of those emails. Subscribe to get them right in your inbox.