On our second day in Rome after visiting Vatican City for the entire day, my friends and I decided to walk all the way back to our hotel from the Vatican (pretty much all the way across Rome) instead of taking the metro before dinner. What better way to see the city, right?
Well... we eventually got lost. Liz had the map, so we stopped underneath a streetlamp so she could plan out our route, and we tried to help where we could, when suddenly we hear a deep voice with an Italian accent. "Do you need help?" he asked us. When he saw the semi-scared looks on our faces he said, "No, no. I am not a creep! I own the store behind you!" We turned around, and indeed there was a very tiny store behind us that we had not noticed. So, we decided to let him help us.
I think he immediately forgot that he was helping us because the next thing out of his mouth to Liz was, "Do you have a boyfriend?" She let him down easy and told him she had an American boyfriend. He then looked at Molly. "Do you have a boyfriend?" he asked her. She too had a boyfriend, so she let him down easy as well. Then his face dropped into a look of awe when he looked at my friend Katherine.
"Mama mia, it's Princess Diana!!!"
None of us had ever made that connection before, so of course, we were all as confused as she was. Then he started making a big deal out of it. "It's Princess Diana! It's Princess Diana!" He then started to profess his love to my friend Katherine, even reciting a poem for her, and then declared the two of them married. It was so uncomfortable, but so funny at the same time.
This random man then began to set out our lives for us. Of course, he was married to Katherine, and I was his secretary, so I knew everything about them, and Molly was my secretary (later to be demoted a few times and then promoted again) and Liz was.... it just went on and on and on. We were standing there talking to this man for literally an hour and a half.
He then asked us our star signs. I told him I was a cancer, and he was overjoyed that I had been chosen to be the secretary because cancers are apparently perfect. I started to get more kisses on the head and hugs than his own wife Katherine! He told me that I had the protection of the CIA, the FBI and the Italian Mafia as well... and he added that his father was the godfather of his branch of the mafia. I didn't know whether or not he was telling the truth, but something tells me Italians don't just go around saying those things in public. He then noticed my big camera and had me take pictures of him and Katherine, and he eventually found out I was studying to be a journalist. He asked where I wanted to work, and I told him The Boston Globe. Boston is my favorite city, and though I love The New York Times, I would not be able to live in New York City. Plus, The Globe and The Times work with each other pretty closely, so I'd actually be happy wherever. Our new friend told us he had "friends" (mafia members) that were part of The Boston Globe and that he could probably secure me a job there. I just laughed.
At the end of our long... and I mean LONG... conversation with this man, he gave us all his business cards, and then almost as an afterthought he gave us each a gift. He brought out five tiny plastic coral colored horns, and gave us each one. He told us to put it under our pillows that night and make three wishes, and our wishes would come true. He added that we should not tell anyone, but I will already know Katherine's wish without her saying anything because I am her secretary and I know everything. When we were saying good-bye and walking away, he pulled me aside and whispered to me, "Wish for the Boston Globe." I assured him I would, and bid him "Ciao!" and walked away with my friends.
|Katherine and her new husband.|
|He looks SO happy.|
|Staring lovingly into each others' eyes. This was his idea, of course.|
This is a memory I will keep forever, and I'm sure all the girls that were there with me will too. It is one of my funniest and best memories from study abroad, and it definitely helps me explain how funny (and sometimes crazy) the Italian men could be.
If you have any questions about my study abroad experience or my life at Saint Michael's College, do not hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tweet me (LittleLizzie33) or ask me a question on Formspring (lizmurray3). I will do my best to answer any question you might have.