By Luana Bosello, Italy
“One summer evening, I was in Rome, sitting in a downtown square. I was waiting for 5 p.m., the time scheduled for my first interview for a job as a barlady.
“I had always wanted to do this: to play with ingredients, come up with unexpected combinations, see a customer’s smile as they taste something that you have created for the first time… At that point I was hoping to find a mentor who would teach me to become the best.
“Suddenly a friendly voice interrupted my thoughts: “May I, miss?”. I looked up and saw a guy smiling at me. He had a camera in his hand. He was very handsome. He took a photo of me and then tried to make conversation.
“I was a bit too nervous to talk, but the guy was stylish and kind. And openness towards other people is one of the most important qualities of being a barlady, so I smiled at him and began to chat.
“He told me that he was a freelance photographer and that it was his last day in Rome; I told him about my passion and about the interview that I was about to have. His face lit up and he made me a promise: if I got the job, I had to go back to that square and we would celebrate together. I accepted, more out of politeness than anything else. By then, it was almost 5 p.m., so I said goodbye and left.
“The interview was a big success. The bar manager told me that he could see the same passion in me that he had had at my age: it was the greatest compliment that he could make. When I left, I was so happy that I decided to keep my promise and I went back to the square. He was there waiting for me, playing around with his camera.
“We spent the whole night together, confiding in each other and walking through deserted, beautiful Rome. I found out that during his week in Rome, he had never tried my two favourite dishes, artichokes ‘alla giudea’ and focaccia with wild rosemary, so I took him to a restaurant in the hills.
“I personally considered this meeting as a sign of fate: if I hadn’t been kind to that guy, things would not have gone so well. Saying goodbye the next morning was bittersweet. We decided not to exchange contact details to preserve the magic of that night: if fate wanted us to meet again, then it would happen somehow. Months later, on a train journey, I found a glossy magazine on the seat. I was idly flipping through it, when I came across a story about Rome. It was entitled: “How A Dreamy Girl Helped Me To Become A Lucky Roman Americano”. Guess who it was referring to? The photo credits were printed at the end of the article, along with an e-mail address.”