“I see a great time in your eyes…”

Posted on January 19, 2011


Dear Borsolino Hats,

I finally found you!! The search is over and I was a very happy birthday girl! It was so exciting trying on all of the hats and luckily the one I needed and purchased fit just right. Each one is hand-made and different sizes. I must have tried on at least 8 different ones and 3 styles. Here is the photo of me and the one…

I spent the day with a friend from class for my birthday. We ate, shopped and walked for a few hours. Together we threw more coins in the Fontana di Trevi, sat at the Spanish Steps, went to Piazza Venezia, window shopped all the designer stores, and received free (gratis) caffe because it was my birthday! When I arrived to class there was a single long-stem rose at my seat from my teacher! She is so sweet and thoughtful. Another student brought some mini tortas and cornettos for our coffee break in celebration of my day. Funny thing is that I purposely “forgot” my text-book at home because I knew that I wasn’t going back home after class and I didn’t want to carry it. Instead I carried my rose around ALL day and EVERY male we walked by would ask, “ohhhh per me??” (ohhh for me??!) and I would respond, “No, no, no per me! Mio compleanno!” Then half the strangers would try to exchange kisses on the cheek while saying “Auguri!” (best wishes!) The attention was interesting and definitely better than carrying the weight of my textbook! I only accepted one guys attempt but he lured us both in by offering a free caffe to us both. I am really into the Ginseng caffe and this was free! Caffe is cheap but got to love free anything, especially on my birthday. We learn his name is Alex and he speaks pretty good english so we begin a fast conversation. By the end of our caffe he is asking to take me to dinner this week! He tells my friend sorry and that she can come too, being the gentleman. She laughs and says,”No, no you should take her out alone! I don’t need to go too..” He asked me for my number but I am seriously having phone issues and I barely give my number out in the states I won’t start here in Rome! Just when I think that the conversation is over and we were moving on from my number he asked if we were on Facebook!! Oh How I love this social network…I laugh and say,” yes, of course. Why? Are you going to stalk me on Facebook??” He looks extremely puzzled and repeats, “stalk??” and tells us he doesn’t understand. My friend and I look at one another and really laugh. I tell him “un momento! Aspetta….” (one moment…wait!)  while I reach in my purse and pull out my brand new mini Italiano-Inglese Eurodizionario!!! So glad that I just bought this only ten minutes before this conversation! I look up the word and the translation is not really the same. It says nothing about a stalker being dangerous!! The translation is more like, “pursue or chase” and “find and follow.” We all laugh and he says “ahhh si, si, si I will find you on face book and stalk you!” We try to tell him NO that is not the right way to use the word and to not say that again out loud to anyone! Too funny! We say goodbye and thank him for the free coffee. Needless to say, he did find me that day on Facebook and I hope he is not really stalking me in the American way! He wrote me and then we instant messaged for a little while and made a plan to meet at Piazza St. Pietro tomorrow to go and have a coffee or some lunch after class. Not sure about dinner yet with my stalker, it is best to take a caffe during the day and see how I feel about it. He told me that I just have a good energy and that he can “see a great time” in my eyes!!!

What I found really silly in class today was that we practiced with fake names, numbers, age, nationality and job conversations but in actuality was useful yesterday! I rolled my eyes in class and we had our fake conversations. One of my characters was a “Carolina Schwekert. 35. Tedesca.Parrucchiere.” with a ten digit fake number. Tedesca is a woman from Germany and Parrucchiere is a hairdresser. I was thankful for the practice because I actually got TWO numbers today and had better conversation in Italian then the day before due to this exercise. Another man started talking to me because of my flower but he didn’t ask if it was for him he asked if it was my birthday. I was alone waiting for my bus to come and he seemed nice enough and the bus took a while. We conversed and it went pretty well. he spoke a little fast but he was telling me about his sisters art show at a nearby gallery, about his ristorante where he works and that I should come eat there, asking me about my arrival here and how long I intend to stay, if I like dancing, all kinds of random things you would think he was secretly sent by my teacher to test my Italian! All the “fake” conversation in class applied to this down to writing his name, number, ristorante and the gallery webstite. Never asked his age…I wonder how appropriate it is to ask here? Woman don’t like to be asked no matter what country you are in but I wonder about inquiring about someones age. I will find out. I like that in Italian you “have” years. For example,” Ho venti sei anni.” This means ” I have 26 years.”  Still can’t believe that I have 26 years….mama mia!

During our day out we also went to buy stamps (francobollo) and since my new friend smokes Lucky Strikes I had to buy some to send home! They don’t have those in the states and I couldn’t believe out of all the cigarettes in the world she smoked those. My Nana used to smoke Luckies many, many years ago! My Nana and Nanu are on my mind a lot while I am here. I think of them everyday, especially when I see old Nanus with their long coats, cool hats and sweatpants! Plus, the boys call their grandmother Nana so I hear the word many times. OH! Another funny thing their Nana always forgets my name. Always. So lately she started calling me Nancy!! She and T were speaking on the phone and I kept hearing the name Nancy and wondered. Later that night when T came home she told me as Nana was leaving that she thought that was my name!! We continue to correct her but its great, maybe the association is “nanny” and “Lexie” = Nanncie! I will take it. Call me Nanncie from now on.

My friend from school has been shopping for a new backpack and I need a new bag so we dipped in and out of many shops that I have already been to but knew there were backpacks for her. I really told myself that I was NEVER going into the shoe store that LOST my evil left Converse but we had to. She wanted to so I followed her (stalked her!) in the store. Of course the same guy that helped me was working! He did not forget me and smiled and greeted us and said, “ahhhh size 4!” to me when we finally made eye-contact. I was embarrassed and told him that I was STILL mad at them for losing my shoe. He pulls me by the arm and shows me that the really nice ones are on sale more! The leather fury ones are only 59 Euros! I tell him that I will be back the first week of Febbraio and to “hide” a pair in black for me! I joke and tell him to lose the left shoe somewhere in the back to guarantee that they have my size when I return. He laughs and tells me, “Ok for you, yes, I promise as long as you come back for them!” We have a good laugh and say goodbye. I will go back to get them on the first, soon as I get paid!! That is a really good price for quality fur-lined leather Chucks!

So after I got closer to home after our nice day of shopping, laughing and eating I decide to stop in at the Supermercato under my house in hopes that “Luca” is there and to buy a personal bottle of cheap vino to start drinking. It was my day after all. And like T told me earlier, “It is you birthday today. Do as you want!” I love that she always says, “as you want” for everything. It is a common phrase here for people who know English. At home we would say, “whatever you want”, “as you want” seems like the proper version! Luca was not working and I bought a REALLY cheap bottle for 1,49 Euro! I know now, today, the after effect of cheap vino is male (bad!) I pretty much posted in the kitchen with my bottle and laptop until dinner and was feeling pretty drunk! I have not drunk that much ever, since I have been here in Rome! We had some spinach and ricotta ravioli and then they opened another bottle for dinner. Before they brought out my cake, which was like a  fancy sweet mountain of cream puffs, Tommaso insisted that I play a round of Mario. Man, I still am amazing at the game even tipsy! The boys wouldn’t give up and go to bed until I finished playing so S tells me to “die quickly and die fast!” I understand so I “accidentally” died over and over again until my 10 lives expired. I thought he would want to play a new game since I passed it already. Not a chance. Today soon as he walked in the door, scarf, jacket and boots still on marched over to me and put the game to my face. Mama mia….! “Non ora” I tell him which is a way of saying, “not now.” “Dopo??” he asked with that same sad concerned face. “si, dopo.” I tell him, “yes, after.” I think that I have played a little of Mario Brothers everyday since our return from the ski trip! I am pretty good at it, I won’t lie and I like that they each like to sit really close with me to watch me play. They probably learned the most English from me due to that game! Matteo started saying, “OH he got me!” which is really funny but he uses it correctly so that is what matters. And they learned the meaning of “Wait, wait, wait” from the game. They know action words such as jump, run, faster, down, up, shoot, and “ohhhhh nooooo…” I say that one a lot when I die in the game. This was one of the first things they learned to repeat after me. S was telling me that they laughed at the way I said “No” because it Italy “no” is short and fast. I drag it out and they have never heard it like that so they mimic me.

Ohhhhhh nooooo….its getting late and I am tired. I need more rest! Every morning I wake up before my alarm.



Posted in: When in Rome