– A Romanian’s True Story –
– Chapter III –
– Naples –
I came to Malta, only to find myself in Naples 6 short months later.
Recap: I am an outspoken, headstrong, walking-talking contradiction of a woman. I like it.
In 2011, I get proposed a Personal Assistant gig by an influential Romanian business man. I end up in Malta, working as his Personal Assistant by day & managing his new lounge by night.
3 months later, I casually tell him I would rather go back and sit on my hands than have to continue managing the place.My employer, already accustomed to my direct nature, smiles, understands and graciously proceeds to wish me luck.
My impulsive nature has gotten the best of me a couple of times, and this was one of them. Out of a job, I set a deadline for myself of a month to find something else or head back home. Three days before my flight home, a friend sends me to an inpromptu “interview”.
I get to the place, find my way inside and proceed to be pushed into a small meeting room with 5 faces around the table. After very brief introductions, they proceeded to ask me a series of questions relating to ships. Did I mention I hate boats? I do. And I use the “h” word sparingly.
However, I got the job. My interview also included having to climb onto the boat dressed in business attire, as the boat was not berthed but at sea, but let’s not get into details. What my job description was, completely eluded me and worse, eluded everyone else too.
Hence, I became PA/ Marketing Manager/ Public Relations Manager and occasional Recruitment Officer for this boat. A schooner. Built in Dubai. To which I can recite the specs of by heart, in my sleep, to this day.
Hence, months later, I’m at the Grand Opening Ceremony of America’s Cup and I’m patting myself on the back about how awesome I am. My phone vibrates and I look at the screen. He’s here. Having jokingly mentioned in passing by that “if you’re around Europe, drop in by Naples”, one does not expect the other party to actually drop by…yet, he was here.
I’ve been blessed to meet a lot of amazing people in my life. From all walks of life. Well, this amazing person, now with me in Naples, I had met only a couple of times before, briefly, and I was now in the awkward situation of being presented with a secret I didn’t want to know.
“I went to prison in Japan”. Jesus Mary and Christ! I thought, yet proceeded to ask in what I thought to be a reserved tone: ” What did you do time for?”
I should have been considering making an excuse and leaving, and making sure I never see him again, but, if there’s something I believe in, it’s people. I’m not afraid of people, and I guess I have always been lucky enough to have people reinforce that belief.
He looked with his big blue eyes at me. He had a kind face, worn down by fine lines. Was a beautiful man. Incredibly polite and calm.” Drugs.I started trafficking. I did prison in Australia for the same thing too, but it was easy compared to the conditions in Japan”
He went on to tell me his life story, his ex-wife, his three teenage girls…There was a story, a reason etc. All unimportant to me. What people do in their past is their choice and it remains in their past. As long as no one complicates my present, I am more than willing to listen without judgement.
Now, having said this, I’m one of those people who pays attention.So, it did not slip my attention that he would check his phone from time to time, or take calls aside from me, even if he was talking in dutch. His Vacheron Constantin watch didn’t go unnoticed either. Or his relaxed schedule that allowed him to travel and come see me on a whim.
” Do you still traffic?” I looked directly into his eyes. He bowed his head slightly: ” I do.” Well… that was my que to take myself out of a situation that would risk complicating my life. I made a lame excuse. We both knew why. Had a short awkward moment and went back to the boat. Never spoke again. I certainly hope he hasn’t gone to revisit his old pals in Japan.
“So? How he makes his money is not your problem Roxana. If something happens, it’s his responsibility.” This was coming from a woman who had sent one of her suitors back to the jewellery shop with her diamond necklace, asking that he exchange his gift for another one. The funny part was that the guy did.
She seemed a little tiffed at the fact I had told him to go home. I was amused, I felt like a little child being scolded for doing something silly.
” In a relationship, there is always one that cares more than the other. I prefer not to be that one.” she said, brushing her hair and then lamenting on the hotel’s apparently imperfect service, which was the reason she had some form of invisible allergy or other. To me, her beliefs defeated the whole purpose, but I had accepted we were never going to see eye to eye on this one.
Tired, after 16 hours of flight, I come out the arrivals section with my arms open, expecting a welcome fit for a diva. To my disappointment, no champagne popped, no conffetti was thrown and my best friend’s cheerful face was missing. I proceeded to look around for him, as if he were a misplaced set of keys. At a certain point, it dawned on me that I should call him. I did. Three times. No answer.
Needless to say, I texted my friend every single below belt emotional blackmail in the book to explain what a horrible friend he was. Rightly so. I had been on a date with a criminal ( not out of the ordinary for me), had organised a marketing event for a boat I didn’t like, had traveled over 16 hours as no direct flights were in that period from Naples to Malta and my 2 hour stop over had turned into a 9 hours one. I was cranky, to say the least.
Problem was, as I got home, I found some more good news waiting in front of my door.
– To be continued –
Filed under: I didn’t come here to strip! Series Tagged: amazing, America’s Cup, beautiful, best friend, Dutch, I didn’t come here to strip!, I love people, life, Malta, Naples, No, romanian, silly expectations, true story