Friday 17th September 2010.
We’ve met a lot of interesting people on this adventure and we only did that because of the decisions we made along the way. Decisions like taking a chance to pick random people from a website we’d only just heard of. Or picking one location over another, one apartment over another. Decisions to stick to one priority over another. As well as meeting interesting people because of our decisions, we also didn’t meet (possibly interesting) people because of our decisions, and we didn’t choose apartments, we didn’t visit cities, we didn’t travel on certain roads, we didn’t see certain lakes.
Like when we were on our way to Italy. I had heard many beautiful things about Lake Como and Lake Garda, so in my capacity as accommodation officer, I put all my attention on those area to find a place to stay. Soon the airbnb options were exhausted and I was onto hotels. I went through a lot of hotels and if the price was right the reviews were horrible, so I took a break. When I came back to the map of Italy I realised there were other lakes. So I was off again with airbnb. Very soon my eyes alighted on hunky Massimo!
You may remember, or maybe I didn’t tell you, but on the airbnb site there are pictures of the accommodation and also a picture of the host (usually, one of our hosts has a beautiful picture of crashing waves, which she looks nothing like!). Initially I paid little attention to the picture of the host because it’s not a priority what they look like…. or is it? Massimo was in danger of changing our priorities. Now I say “our” priorities when in fact Denis was busy working away, his priorities weren’t changing, they were still wifi, secure parking, shops and restaurants! But when you are the one making the decision then your priorities count……
So anyway, up pops the picture of Massimo and his apartment in a village on Lake Orto, Italy and our destiny shifts to a new location. Now, to be fair to me, as well as a beautiful picture he had also written that “..the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who visited the lake in May 1882 believed that the experience changed his life forever”. How could I resist going to this amazing place? First things first, contact must be made to check availability, wifi, secure parking, grocery opportunity and restaurants. Back comes the reply, yes to everything except shops and restaurants. Well, they were kinda important…. but…. maybe…. sure it would be no problem to get groceries on our way and cook there… it was still a possibility, wasn’t it? While I was convincing myself I’d be fine all day long in a little village that wasn’t big enough for a little grocery shop, (wouldn’t I have the lake to look at…. and I remember someone once saying there were boat busses across the lakes in Italy, I’d be fine), Massimo was sending another mail.
Turned out he didn’t have a picture of his little village to put up with his listing so he had put up a picture of another little village on Lake Orta, and that his little village was 25 minutes away from Lake Orta! Well… that’s not so bad is it? Probably a lovely little village…. and the apartment looks ok…. we could still do this.
Now before you jump to any conclusions that the picture of Massimo wasn’t even his picture, let me tell you I have no idea! Because at this point Denis entered the decision making process. He didn’t know about our new priority of choosing accommodation related to the gorgeousness of the host and he could see absolutely no reason to choose a location that didn’t match our needs. “Why are you even considering it?” So I told him how interesting Massimo’s bone structure looked and he began to laugh. I was watching the possibility of ever seeing Massimo in the flesh receding away as I told him what interesting things Massimo had written and he nearly wet himself laughing. “Let it go, Mairead!” “But it would be a good story for my blog!” Oh, he loved that! I think he lost a half hour work time giggling away to himself. So I had to let Massimo go…..