An Italian national living in Bali woke up several of his neighbours this morning when he received a Facebook message from his sister.
“Cazzo!” Roberto Grimaldi yelled as the message irreversibly changed from received to seen.
The dreaded messaged confirmed what he had been fearing for the past six months since his sister, Rosa, had got engaged to her high-school sweetheart: the wedding date had been set. This meant paying for an extremely expensive 20-hour flight back to Milan which would drain his savings and force him to enter the workforce back home. It’s a bitter ending to his romp around the Pacific.
“I don’t have two grand just lying around,” he told The Tragic Traveller. “I mean, I do have two grand saved up, but I want to spend it on things that I want. That money was supposed to take me to Japan. Fuck.”
“Why couldn’t they have waited another five or six years? By then I’d be too old for working holiday visas anyway.”
Roberto had been living in Ubud, teaching yoga and working as a freelance surf photographer. But now he will have to face the unrelenting circle of relatives who consider neither of those things to be real jobs.
“If all my immediate family just never got married, or died, or had major life events that required me to come home, I’d be set. Is that so much to ask?
A correspondent from the Italian branch of The Tragic Traveller (Il Viaggiatore Tragico) interviewed Rosa. She seemed unaware of the crisis she has caused by her refusal to remain engaged forever.
“Yeah, it’ll be so nice to see Roberto again!” she said, “I think he’s in Thailand or something right now? But yeah, I’m glad he’ll be coming back home. He even joked about us paying for his flights! He’s so funny, ahah.”
Roberto was not joking.
“I swear to God, this had better be on the house. This must be what destination weddings feel like.”