Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Times & Cheap Wine

The beginning of an incredible night
Have you ever wondered what a bottle of wine tastes like when it only costs 4 Euros? Wonder no more, because I'm about to tell you! Last night Jeanny, Anna and I met downtown where we ate dinner at this amazing little place called "Auto Grill." It doesn't sound appetizing, but this place had delicious pizza and stands upon stands of pastries, gelato (with some interesting flavours I haven't tried yet like watermelon - yum!) and of course lines of alcohol. So we got some pizza while we bought a bottle of 4 Euro wine which tasted like a mix between poison and nail polish remover. After you drank a certain amount, though, you couldn't even taste the toxins anymore which was pleasant. After we split the bottle into thirds, Jeanny and Anna were just a bit tipsy while I was already totally drunk. This is a problem between European drinking vs. Western culture drinking. First of all, I'm not used to being legal. Of course I've drank at high school parties and such, but I'm already ahead of everyone back home since I can walk into anywhere without ID and still get booze. My friends like Jeanny and Anna have been drinking alcohol since their 5th birthdays (not really, more like 7th) and for them it isn't such a big deal. I'm also a 5"6 and 110 pound girl, and so it doesn't take much to get me drunk. I've noticed here that the cheaper the alcohol, the faster it'll get you drunk.
I was really excited once we got to Scholar's because a few other au pair girls were there. I met Ronja from Sweden, Jenna from Australia, and another girl from Holland who was really nice! I ran into my Irish friend Stephen again
and since it was karaoke night at Scholar's, we agreed to go up on stage together. At the end of the night he made me promise to 'be gentle' when writing my blog about it (he knows me too well). His mistake was that he told me I could sign us up for any song I wanted and that he'd see our names on the screen when it was our turn. Jeanny and another random girl joined us, and since he's a priest, I chose the most fitting song. I chose Madonna's 'Like A Virgin'. OH HO HO, I am oh so clever. "Like a virgin - hey! Touched for the very first time. Like a vir-r-r-r-gin, with your heart beat next to mine, feels so good inside..." Stephen actually has a really great singing voice, and I'm sad to admit that he out shined all of us on stage. I was losing my mind up there and for most of the time, no words were coming out of my mouth, just pure laughter. 
Photo courtesy of Jenna
When I got off stage I was congratulated on my 'beautiful singing voice' by a tall, blonde fan standing by the entrance. His name is Marcus and he's from Sweden - Sweden! I've met plenty of Swedish girls here, but no Swedish boys. He's living here for the year and I have him saved in my phone under 'Swedish Berry'. Swedish Berry had to leave early, which gave me the rest of the night to look for my English Prince (who I still haven't found, sadly). But I was hit on obnoxiously by two other guys who I must exploit here on this blog. The one was this seriously annoying American who kept calling me "Barbie", because apparently having blonde hair and wearing a pink top classifies me as a plastic doll... I think he was half crazy/half gay because he would walk around the bar and shoot me a look and a thumbs up every now and then. Who actually does the thumbs up anymore?! Actually, who did that ever
Barf.
But then I would see him grinding with one of his guy friends and hugging them which really threw me off. Anna and I were really drunk and agreed that Jeanny would be our 'hot cop'. Jeanny has a boyfriend back home in Germany, so of course she doesn't go after anyone. Jeanny also doesn't drink a lot (at least not as much as Anna and I) and so whenever we're talking to a guy, she gives us a sign to let us know if he's actually good looking or not. I could be blind and still know this American was not attractive. In general, I have absolutely no problem with American men, but this boy just did not make the list.
Ugh... I am dreading writing about the final guy of the night. He was Italian. Let me JUST SAY that there are plenty of karaoke bars in Rome, but the whole reason why people go to Scholar's is to meet other tourists - if we wanted to get it on with Italians, we would all be hanging out at Italian bars. Giving him a chance, I asked where he was from in Italy. I thought this would give him the benefit of the doubt in case he wasn't from Rome, but nope - he was. He asked me what my name was, and I told him something that I will not repeat on this blog due to graphic reasons. He didn't understand what I said though but assumed that my name was 'Claire', which is close to what I told him (think really hard...) so I just went along with it. He asked me if I wanted a drink and I told him no thanks. He asked, "why?" And I said I don't take drinks from strangers. Then he told me his name (which I forget) and that "now we aren't strangers anymore."
Clearly, this guy could not get a hint. I know it might seem unfair, but I am not interested in dating an Italian man. I do not like that they are pushy, aggressive, and it is rare to find the "Italian stallion" we think that exist over here. If you are an Italian man reading this, do not get offended if this is not what you're like, but this is my interpretation of most Italian men. Italian men drive around in tiny cars honking their horns and sticking their greasy heads out of the window if they see a pretty girl nearby. They are short with waxed eyebrows and say Ciaooo bella and make gross noises at you to get your attention. If a woman turns the corner and an Italian man is liking what he sees, he will creepily follow her and watch her until she is out of sight. They also do not have the word 'no' in their vocabulary. Again, this is not what ALL Italian men are like. But I'm going to assume that if you're a Roman in a tourist bar and insist on buying me a drink, that you are like the typical Italian man. And this guy did just that, and he even had waxed eye brows, so I knew he wasn't going to give up that easily. We argued forever about me not wanting anything from him, and I was just like, listen... I'm not 
Emily having fun at the Pantheon
asking you to f--- off, I'm telling you. No means no, damn it! He. Would. Not. Give. UP. As if to win me over, he went on stage and said very boldly into the microphone, "This is for Claire." He then proceeded to sing a depressing love song and the au pairs and I were going out of our minds. If he said my real name I would simply diiiiie. His brother was pretty hot though, but unfortunately, he was already tangled up with some other girl. Anyway...
Today I had the whole day off because the family is still in Tuscany, so I walked around the centre some pictures of my 
                                                         friend Emily at some Roman monuments.
Emily pigging out on gelato
Before I left, my best friend Emily gave ma a photo copy of her graduation picture and told me to take some pictures of her wherever I went. I thought this would be a good opportunity to give her a little taste of what life is like here. Personally, I think she really enjoyed it. There isn't a single picture of her where she isn't smiling...
I can admit that I'm one of the biggest loser's I know. I am constantly doing things to embarrass myself and those around me, but you know what? I have the most fun over anyone I know. While I'm here I've become so comfortable in my own skin. I don't care what anyone thinks about me, 
Emily wished for world peace at
the Trevi Fountain. So giving.
because I'm completely happy and have so much fun and have some of the most beautiful and kind friends in the entire world. I have a pretty good head on my shoulder's. I'll sing 'Like A Virgin' in public and refuse taking drinks from strangers. I'm one smart cookie, and I'm really proud of myself for becoming so head strong. Who would've thought that a little small-town girl like me could live in a 'survival of the fittest' city like Rome? I deserve a little pat on the back for that. Or maybe a slice of pizza instead... 

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