Tuesday 20 March 2018

Get yourself lost and beat food poisoning

Katy Harrington

RUNNING out the door on my way to meet a very nice Swedish man, it strikes me that I haven't eaten in about 12 hours. I dash upstairs where the remnants of last week's attempt at cooking lies in the fridge, looking unappetising. I don't want to insult Spanish people by calling it 'tortilla' – it is boiled potatoes and peas that were once held together by an egg. I scoff it down. Sensible Katy.

On the bus 20 minutes later, I start to feel a little strange. Pre-date nerves, I think at first, but soon I feel like I am going to be sick, a condition I refer to as 'watery chops'.

I look in the mirror – my face is grey. Not quite the glowy no-make-up-make-up look I was going for.

Mind over matter, I think. Breathe. Do not puke on the nice lady next to you. Meanwhile, due to my preoccupation with not vomiting on London transport, I allow the bus to sail past my stop.

When I realise my mistake, I get off, look around, but nothing is familiar.

Two kids on a bike are having an argument about who left whose gun where. Suddenly I am not as concerned about the possibility that I have salmonella.

I'm late and lost, and my date calls to know where I am. "Outside Tesco," I say. Which is like telling someone you are standing beside a pub in Dublin and expecting them to know where you are.

Eventually with his help I work out where I am and set off in the right direction.

Walking down the street a teenage boy looks me up and down and says: "You look nice, babe, where you off to?"

"Off to meet someone my own age," I say. And suddenly my stomach doesn't hurt any more.

Irish Independent

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