In the European summer of 2014, I spent a month in Paris studying at a Clown School in Etampes, run by grumpy old-man legend Philippe Gaulier. There I formed some of the most seminal friendships of my life. Nothing like a tyrannical teacher to forge bonds between students. One of my favourite clown companions, Pablo, invited me to Sicily for a week - and I spent a blissful seven days eating mozzarella and tomatoes from the market every morning, and breadcrumbed anchovy pasta from dirty little street-joints every night. We sang, ate gelato, and laughed at strangers. It was beautiful, and filthy, and beautiful.


Weeks later, Pablo joined me in NYC for the final stop of my trip. With me being able to speak the local language, the gloss of our friendship had worn off. We fought. He wanted to go to big all-American diners, I wanted to go to boutique coffee shops. He detested that I knew my way around and called me a gentrified snob for loving Brooklyn. We had a huge fight on a street corner about Pride and gay rights, and that was it. The romance was over. The city was great, but some friendships have their expiry date.


Jess Holly Bates stars in Auckward Love, season three available now on TVNZ Ondemand.