A common FAQ: “Where the hell have you been, Alex??”
My answer: Absolutely everywhere.
This August, Amanda and I bon voyaged to Italy, France and Spain. It was my first trip abroad and we decided to make it count! Readers, it was the single most magical experience of my life. There were meals. There were sites. And yes---there were men.
As I opened my eyes, I was horrified to find a dark hotel room.
“Oh no, we overslept!” I cried.
Amanda shot up, disoriented, her covers flying in every direction. She pulled the nightstand clock closer to her face and rubbed her eyes.
“What does this say??” she asked, exasperated.
“What does this say??” she asked, exasperated.
“Oh no…” she sighed. “We’re going to miss the last train.”
It was our final night in Rome and [as part of Crazy Alex’s anal retentive ‘mustseeeverythingthereistoseewhileinEurope’ plan] we were originally slated to see the Spanish steps.
“Aren’t you going to get up?” I asked, fumbling through clothes and fluffing my hair. Amanda just sat there thinking.
“You know, Al. I have a better idea.”
Moments later, we were in an over-priced Taxi bound for the Tiver River.
“Remember what the tour-guide said about this place?” she asked.
“I’ve been told so many things this week...”
“This is where the nightlife is! There’ll be tons of clubs and people our age. Ya know… we haven’t partied ONCE since we got here.”
It was true. I was so consumed with cramming every bit of knowledge into this vacation that I completely forgot to be on vacation. Though I was saddened to miss an important historical site, I reluctantly made the exchange for a night out.
But---of course we couldn’t just party… we’d have to make it interesting. So, over a light dinner we conspired to conduct a little social experiment: we’d pretend not to speak any Italian in order hear what the natives truly thought of us.
Bouncing flirtatiously along the many bridges, our experiment was off to a running start. We spoke loudly, in blatant English, sprinkling the occasional southern twang for some extra American charm. In response, a choir of clueless men commented openly about our attire and anatomy. Not only was this fun, but we were instantly able to separate the romantics from the perverts. It was genius!
We soon found a chic hookah bar and struck up a friendly conversation with Francesco, Fat Fabrizio, Skinny Fabrizio, and Daniel. Unlike some of the other men, this quartet of gentlemen spoke softly and respectfully, admiring our beauty with class.
“I DO declare! Just how American do we look?” I asked. (A first-time hookah-smoker, I got a little more southern with each toke.)
Pointing first to Amanda, Francesco replied “You-ah beautyy ees very, very Mediterranean. You-ah could leeve en Roma, no-ah problem!”
“And me?” I asked.
“You-ah beautyy ees very, very… uhh… como se dice… difficult to… look at.”
I stared at him in disbelief.
“MY BEAUTY IS DIFFICULT TO LOOK AT?!” The southern belle was gone.
“NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOO NO!” Skinny Fabrizio leapt to his feet and ran toward me. “You-ah beautyy ees bea-ooo-ti-ful! Sexy! So Sexy!” He sat down next to me shyly.
“You-ah beautyy ees difficult to place” Francesco corrected himself.
“Well… alright then.” I replied.
Despite his blunder, we soon learned that Francesco worked for the President of Italy. He was multi-lingual, intelligent and well-travelled. After conversing with him for close to an hour, Amanda and I were simply enchanted! When he offered to give us an evening tour of Rome we happily accepted.
Francesco and Skinny Fabrizio took us to every stunning panoramic view in Rome. We could see everything---the entire landscape illuminated beneath the gorgeous Italian sky. But by now, Skinny Fabrizio had attached himself to me like a leech. If there’s one thing I learned in Rome, it’s this: fending off men in Italy is as pointless as swatting mosquitoes on a camping trip. They’re everywhere, they’re persistent, and eventually when you’re not looking… they’re going to bite you on the neck.
Finally, at our third location, Francesco pointed down.
“Those are-ah the Spanish Steps.”
At that exact moment, I looked up at the night sky and saw my very first shooting star. What an incredible memory! Just then I realized, sometimes if you let go, you'll get everything you want.
“I did get to see them,” I gasped. "Oh, let’s get a picture!!”
Skinny Fabrizio finally detached himself, whipped out his phone and asked to have a picture of just me.
I was puzzled. “Why would you want a picture of me?”
“For-ah, uhh, remembering.”
Skinny Fabrizio thought for a moment, looked up and yelled “BECAUSE I LOVE-AH YOU!”
What a hilarious end to a fabulous day!