Disclaimer: This is a fiancé approved post.
On the day of my departure for Italy, I no longer thought of him. I was free from my miserable thoughts of not being able to find happiness. Shallow, no? But do realize when you experience heartbreak, the world seems to be not on your side. It’s as if it wants to spit you out in the open and float until you disappear. That day I didn’t feel anything anymore, I was only focusing on myself and how I was going to handle the joyful feeling that I had.
Autumn, a season I’ve never experienced before. Something new and beautiful to see for such a hopeful person like me. I was welcomed by a friend’s family with the best Filipino hospitality you will ever experience. Tita cooked the best meals and so did her nephew. They never let me do the chores, as much as I insisted, they wanted to do it on their own. I came to Italy for a short study in Fashion Business. Wow. I seriously could not believe it that I was there. ‘A few months ago I was just crying a river everyday and voila – I am here.’ I thought. Tita’s son was a big help. He helped getting my very first sim card (memorable), and also getting my student train pass (I still have it).
They brought me to an authentic Italian restaurant that specializes in pasta – and oh my goodness, it was very very good. Most of the time I did in Italy other than going to school was eat. I ate and I ate and I ate til’ my heart’s content. EATaly, we would often say. I’ve met a great group of students from around the world, in my class I was the only Filipino. I love meeting new people and make new friends, so I really loved what was happening to me at that time. Most of the time, I’d eat lunch with my classmates. It was my first time to eat salad for lunch. Oh my goodness, my body was dying for something heavier than that! I did not want to embarrass myself so I would get gelato every time as a dessert. Thankfully, our eating habits progressed to something a bit normal with a good ol’ cheap Italian pizza.
I walked a lot. I walked everywhere in Milan. I’d purposely get myself lost til’ my feet hurt. I wanted to feel the city, I wanted to be just part of it forever.
Every weekend, I went out of town and went to places like Rome and Firenze. I traveled alone. Bah. This is nothing new to me, I’ve been traveling alone since I was eighteen (18). I booked myself the finest trains with the fastest routes and most comfortable travel experience.
The other weekend, I went to Rome and had the wildest time there. There is something with Southern Italians and the word crazy. I stayed in a cool hostel known for their parties. I spent time with a great group of people: female twins from Greece , one guy from Germany and another guy from America. Four of them paired up while I was assigned to be their baby. I felt cute and so loved. I loved being the baby. I have always been everyone’s favorite baby girl back in the Philippines.
The four of us spent most of the night partying inside the bathroom. Who knows why we all ended up there, but we smoked our cigarettes and drank our booze the whole night. Eat your heart out Met Gala 2017.
On the first night I’ve arrived, I went out to grab some some food somewhere near the hostel. A young man sat on a table next to mine. He looked at his menu, and then looked at me. I looked away. There was something about me and observing people. Cute people, at least. He then looked back at his menu and ordered his food. After that, he said “Ciao.” with the cutest smile I could remember. I said Ciao back. He asked me something in Italian that I could not understand. So with my terrible Italian I replied, “Sono no parlo Italiano.”
He laughed. Of course. God he was so cute. He called the waiter again and told him something in Italian. He then smiled back at me. The waiter went up to me and and said, “He wants to ask you if you would like to have dinner together.” Haha. I was definitely not in the mood for this. But okay.
He moved the chairs to give way for me. I sat down as comfortable as I can be and started having our weird dinner talk. He could not speak English. I always advised my friends that if a man cannot speak your language then just use body language. We finished dinner. He invited me to a bar for drinks, and the rest is history. A girl does not kiss and tell!
The evening after, I wanted to relax before I head back to Milan. Luckily, I met this girl who has also been staying in Italy for quite a while, and she was from Korea. We bonded over Asian food. Yes, Asian food in Europe.
Nope, never once the ex-boyfriend popped into my head. No sadness. No whatsoever. Ang daming guwapo dito bakit ko pa ba iisipin siya? Hello, sobrang benta ako.
My next stop was Paris, France. Guess who decided to host me there? Good ol’ Phil of course. It has been three (3) years since I saw this man. Never once in those three years he left my side, whether it is good or bad he made sure to remind me that he will always be there for me.
After I settled in my house in Paris, I ate almond croissants and left right away to see the Eiffel Tower. It was so beautiful. What was beautiful was the feeling that dawned inside me the first time I saw this famous gigantic tower right in front of you. I couldn’t help but smile and tear a bit. I could not believe my eyes that I was there! I was there!
I felt a bit down because I was by myself. Not because of my ex-boyfriend, but because I wanted to be there with someone special. I saw hundreds of people around me with their partners, friends, and families, and here I am all alone admiring the beauty of the Eiffel Tower. Luckily it did not last long. I wanted to take beautiful photos of it with me in it just to remind myself that I made it here, happy and alone.
To all the good people I’ve met in Paris who took photos of me, thank you for helping this girl out.
I met Phil later that afternoon. “You aged! Look at you Uncle Phil.” I shouted. I ran to him and hugged him so tight. I missed that guy. We went out for dinner and went around Paris. He brought me to this famous church overlooking the whole city. I am a Buddhist, but I am flexible to whatever religion you bring me into. The church was beautiful from the inside, it was serene and quite dramatic. There was several people praying, most we’re crying. I could not help but cry as well. I kneeled down, clasped my hands together, closed my eyes and prayed. I told Him how thankful I was for saving me, and for giving me such a beautiful opportunity to be there. I thanked Him for giving me a supportive family and friends. I thanked Him for keeping me safe and alive. I thanked Him for all the love that he never failed to give to His children. I asked Him for guidance to always direct me to good people. To direct me to good opportunities, and if ever I encounter obstacles, I prayed deeply to never leave by my side.
I cried. I always do when I pray.
We left the church and looked out on the beautiful view of Paris. We proceeded to a pub to meet his friends, and it was quite a weird night because I did not really enjoy myself. I think I was just too tired. I told Phil that I wanted to go home early, so we did.
The next day, I ate homemade crepes (made by Phil) with Nutella. He wanted to bring me out the whole day for a walk around Paris. Paris is so beautiful and magical, but can be chaotic. It was populated by so much tourists. We stumbled upon the bridge where the “love locks” were located. I looked at them one by one and saw dedication messages written for their loved ones and such. I shouted, “Walang forever!” Two Filipinos (I did not notice them) turned their heads to me. Oops. Sorry. But it was pretty funny.
We walked and walked, talked and talked. We ended up going to his best friend’s birthday party at their home a little bit outside of Paris. In the car on the way there he told me that that he had to go somewhere so might as well make other plans for that evening. I said, “Okay, no problem! I can just tell this guy who asked me out that we can push through it.” He looked a bit worried. At that time, Phil had a live-in partner for years, but he has always been a dear friend to me.
Phil en I
That evening, he dropped me off the station where I was supposed to meet this French Fry for dinner. He looked terribly sad and hugged goodbye. So, now that was done, I prepped up and waited for my mystery date. We went to the tallest building of Paris with a rooftop overlooking the whole city. It was majestic. The Eiffel Tower was so beautiful at night. Gold and sparkling. I could not believe what I was seeing, I’m the luckiest girl at that moment!
“Hey Frenchie, do you think this is the best view of Paris?” I asked.
“Yes, of course.” he replied.
“I don’t think so.” I said, “I think that this is only the second best view.”
“Why? What is the best view then?”
“You are looking at it.” I smiled.
Haha. Seriously. What was I thinking at that time? Missed you TIffany, wish you were in Europe with me! I went home late that night with a big smile on my face. I was really back at my game. I was contemplating how everything was doing so well for me. One things off my bucket list, to experience to be adored like a Parisian in the City of Love!
The next stop was the Netherlands. Oh my goodness, I waited five (5) years for this! I could not believe my eyes. I could not contain the overflowing feeling I was having.
I met up with my host for that evening but it turned out to be a disaster. I rather not disclose on what happened to me that evening for my protection, but it was something that I was very scared of. I did not know who to contact. I did not bother to contact my other ex-boyfriend as he lives so far away, and did not want to scare off his girlfriend. I did not bother calling other people that I’ve personally met because it was already late at night. It was cold and I was in a place I am certainly not familiar with. I was a bit outside of Amsterdam where there was almost nobody in sight.
I made an emergency post on the platform that I was using to look for travelers that can help me. Luckily two of them responded, and one of them picked me up right away. It took him 15 minutes to get there by his car. In those 15 minutes, I was standing outside with my bag in the cold. How can this happen to me on the first night I was there?
When the person I was talking to arrived, I felt relieved and scared at the same time. I did not know what to expect what was going to happen next. Luckily, we arrived at his place safely and immediately I felt cozy.
I explored the city of Amsterdam with such a big smile on my face. Still cannot believe that I was there. Still can’t believe I was in the country of the National Football Team I’ve been rooting for since 2010. Still cannot believe that I was there just a bit too late to meet the family and friends of my other ex-boyfriend.
Dutch Paella and Kibbeling
I wanted to pop by at the city he lives in and say hello so I told him my plan. I think it has been 3- 4 years since we broke up, so I guess it was a decent time to be civilized adults and catch up. I even thought about for him to bring along his current girlfriend, but then at the end I thought that I needed to respect my boundaries. I needed to respect him and his girlfriend. So I cancelled the meeting like a true trooper.
One of my first stops was the Anne Frank House. I remembered reading her book in middle school at Brent International Subic. I loved the booked so much and was so hooked on reading it. I also liked watching the documentary films about her and her family that we did in class. I was just very fond of her bravery and story. Luckily, one of the sweet people I met in Boracay last May works there. I went to the museum/house and saw the long line – she instructed me to just look for her. To my surprise, she picked me up from the staff entrance, toured the museum with her (there are no tour guides there!), and I did not have to pay anything at all. I was absolutely thankful for the wonderful gesture she did. The day was so special to me as I am part of history now.
One of the other things I loved about the Netherlands was Febo. I don’t know why but I got super obsessed with it when I was there. My all time favorite was the kroket, the fried chicken, and the fries with fritessaus and sate. I seriously recommend them to anyone going to the Netherlands in the near future.
Two of the craziest things I’ve done in the Netherlands was visiting one of the coffee houses. I mean, you are in Amsterdam for goodness sake. You just gotta do this. I was on a date that night with this football player. I told him I wanted to try it only if it was okay for him. I had to ask because a lot of Dutch people don’t do this. He was pretty keen about it and brought me to one of the famous ones. The whole night we were just. Yeah. We didn’t even get to talk, we didn’t even get the chance to know each other. After that, we walked around the red light distract. Hazy. Neon lights everywhere. Naked girls on windows waved hello. “Let’s follow the light!” I told him.
Then I got hungry. We ended up on Wok to Walk. Man, the people there were looking at me and giggling. One of the cooks asked me to smile at him, and I did the most stupid smile and they laughed. Come on people. Hahaha. I wasn’t at my most normal state. I ordered a lot of toppings on my noddles and ended up spending €11,00 = Php 613.00 on a plate of fried noodles. Haha. Damnnn.
After that I felt tired and wanted to home, he dropped me off at the central station so I could catch the last train home. For some weird reason I managed to get home late that evening in that state. I patted myself for not ending up lying on the side of the road.
Another crazy thing I’ve done was this one time I went out for a drink with this guy. We had some beers, then after we went to a club and had more drinks. I was already slowly getting drunk. Next thing I remember we were on a strip club. Thank god I wasn’t the only girl there. Other than the strippers of course. We basically watched the girls do their job. Two of them went up to us and asked if we wanted some lap dances. “Well, what the heck, we are here already! Let’s have some of that.”
I was so out of it because of the alcohol. Next thing I remember her whole body was just on me, and forcing me to touch her breasts. Haha. It felt awkward but her skin was so nice.
“You have such soft skin!” I said.
“Thanks! I use cocoa butter during work days.” she replied happily.
She was so nice we started talking while she was dancing on top of me. She told me about her family, and her friends. And as far as I can remember, she was very beautiful. Exotic looking. She asked me where I was from. When she found out that I was Filipina, she immediately told the guy I was with not to let go of me. “Filipinas are cool women! They’re so brave and beautiful. My step-mother is Filipina, and I can’t wait to visit your country!”
Of course being a romantic, I did not let myself miss the chance on meeting sweet boys of NL. There was this boy who asked me out on a date. He took the initiative to be different. We met up in a bar called Barça in Marie Heinekenplein. When I saw him walking towards me, I stood up right away and ran to him. I can never forget the first thing he told me, “Wow. You are so beautiful. Your eyes are so beautiful.” And he just could not take his eyes off me. He was such a darling the whole night. He even brought me to an escape room, a bar by the canals, and for late night snacking he brought me to Van Dobben for the best kroketten. We took a bicycle to bring me home, and was such a gentleman throughout the evening.
Another one took me out early for lunch. It was sunny but cold that day, but then decided to walk in the park. I saw bunnies and squirrels. It was so adorable! I’ve never seen them out in the wild. We also came across a large traditional windmill, it was so cool. We drove his bike around the area, and one of the sweetest things that I experienced on a bicycle was my hands were kept warm all throughout the ride. Thank you sweet boy of NL.
There are many more stories that would probably make you kilig, but then again this girl does not like to kiss and tell.
I went back home to the Philippines feeling accomplished and new. I was on a fresh start again. I was not afraid of reality anymore. I was more than okay. I was doing so much better than I ever was.
- I got a very high score on my final grade at my Fashion Business course
- I rode a very nice Italian car in one of my dates in Italy
- I got to see the beautiful places of Italy, Paris and the Netherlands
- I got to eat so much good food
- I got to see Phil again
- I got to feel adored and maybe loved by such nice people
- I got to gain new friends from all over the world
- I got to learn to fall in love again
- I got to move on
This is why I am so thankful that he dumped me that one night. You made my life better. So much better than it was when I was with you. Look at me now, I am in such a better light and phase of my life. For everything I have now, it was all because you dumped me, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.