Ok. I decide to take Rachel out for a little Grosseto nightlife (no easy task given that there is no nightlife in Grosseto) and manage to find an outdoor bar with a decent amount of people hanging out and casually drinking. We choose a table in the back of the place and sit down next to each other to people-watch. Ten minutes later two guys sit down right next to our table.
The waitress ignores us and goes directly to their table to take a drink order.
Rachel and I begin speaking about stuff in general, in English, and the guy closest to Rachel notices that we are obviously American.
He begins staring and smiling at Rachel.
I get up to get Rachel and I drinks because the waitress is obviously never coming back, I see a friend, text another and return to the table.
The guy has inched his chair closer to Rachel's in an "I'm trying not to be obvious but I think you are REALLY hot" kind of way...
More smiling between the two.
Finally, I can take it no longer. I stick out my hand, smile and say, "Hi, I'm Jodi (smile)...and this is my friend Rachel."
I have no patience for blatant flirtation - I'm too chicken-shit to make a move guys. I just spent fifteen days in Dublin with five girls who were the same way. I had to do something.
*Rachel is dangerous*
She is so sweet and tiny that every man who meets her wants to hug her and protect her from the world. But she also has these piercing green eyes, so that ain't all they want...(Don't worry, Melissa, I instigated, but I supervised...and translated, and translated)
The highly stimulating conversation goes a little something like this:
Romeo: Uh. Hi. Where are you from?
Rachel: Atlanta, Georgia.
Pause of about ten minutes while Romeo tries to think of another question to ask in broken English with me translating.
Romeo: Uh, eh. Do you study?
Rachel: Yes, I study photography at the University. I'm spending the next two months in France studying.
Eight minute pause.
Romeo: Tell her I think she's pretty.
Me: You tell her you think she's pretty, this is how you say it in English. (I draw the line at telling Rachel she's pretty as if I were the guy hitting on her. Italian men are so weird)
Rachel: Thank you.
Fifteen minutes pass as Romeo's friend Laura starts speaking decent English so that I can take a break from this stressful work of boy meets girl.
Romeo: Ask her if she likes guys who bodybuild and go to the gym. (Romeo flexes non-existent muscles)
Me: (I grimace and translate this latest hot item)
Rachel: Um. A man's personality is more important than whether or not he goes to the gym.
Romeo digests this tidbit, decides that it is an acceptable answer (God was I tempted to say that she said she likes guys with REALLY big muscles)and goes back into his corner to debate the next thought-provoking one-liner.
How interesting to vicariously live a blatant pickup attempt by an inept, lost in love Italian 26 year old boy. How do Italian women deal with this shit on a daily basis?
He was so cute, though and so into Rachel.
*Rachel plays it cool*
Romeo: Um, uh, em. Do you like Science Fiction or horror films?
Rachel: No, I hate them. I like Romance films.
Romeo: (devastated) oh.
Rachel: But my brother and sister love Science Fiction films.
Me: Oh God.
(Interrupting for a special message to Naomi: Jordan held Rachel's hand...good luck to you in December with "A")
I would love to say that the conversation gets better. It doesn't.
I'll keep you posted.
Round 2, Saturday morning, beach date.
Romeo was definitely no Paotie (got your back), but he was a persistent little Stallion.