March 19, 2009 § 5 Comments
Being of Asian appearance can be both an asset and a liability in this part of the world, depending on how one views these things. Neither belonging to a bus load of Japanese/Chinese tourists, for the most part I’ve discovered that it is actually more a liability due to the fact that by myself, I stand out like a fucking sore thumb.
This has annoying consequences, especially when it comes to the attention of men. Though I have enjoyed the company of beautiful ones over the past few months, every now and then I encounter the, shall we say,’ substandard’ kind, who seem to think that we will gush with wide-eyed wonder and bat our lashes at being addressed by any old European bloke. I blame the Japanese for this! Damn you and your stereotypical behaviour! Damn you and your geishas! Damn you and your hats and cameras! But I digress.
Back in Paris, a French bus driver tried to invite me back to his flat to ‘practice his English’. In Seville some Spanish dude basically came up to me in a club and practically stuck his tongue in my ear. On occasions like these I politely decline and lie. And slide away. Slide, very quickly.
I was walking around in Milan minding my own business like I usually do, when a middle-aged Italian man suddenly whisked up next to me. He had silver greasy looking long hair, parted in the middle, with round glasses. He was short, and said he was an architect. He probably used this line to impress the ladies but I said, ‘me too’. He looked slightly disappointed but said he would show me some parts where Leonardo da Vinci painted some work. Again, I tried to be polite and went with him for a while.
Such a bad decision. After a whole of 5 minutes, without any warning whatsoever, he decided it was acceptable to hook his arm onto mine, and probably expected me to ‘tra-la-la’ with him skipping happily along. I was so completely stunned by this I froze for a whole two seconds before being consumed by such utter repulsion that I shoved his arm away and almost leapfrogged about a meter away. Yes, I can leapfrog over things. I do not exaggerate.
There is just no polite way to disguise complete disgust on one’s face. He got the message pretty quickly and left as fast as he appeared. Firstly, who the hell hooks arms anymore? Secondly, I’m not a fucking escort!
Argh, SO MUCH WRONG.
March 18, 2009 § 3 Comments
Googlemaps have never really failed me. Every night before I set off to a new city, I always make a ritual out of looking it up on Google and meticulously drawing out the address and surrounding streets of every new couchsurfer I go to. However, when this is done amidst pure exhaustion and a distracted mind, it is a pretty futile exercise as I try to ‘shortcut’ it and leave out certain street names and other smaller alleys.
After taking an hour-long bus from the airport, then the metro, then the bus again, I arrived in Milan with a half-arse map. Armed with a poor sense of direction and a body drained of energy after a delayed journey from Copenhagen, I got lost. What? Of course I got off at the wrong stop. Naturally. For those who have been following since the beginning, you will nod your heads sympathetically. The bus is the devil, if anyone remembers this episode.
Speaking no Italian whatsoever, I wandered around for a bit and started to get a bit worried when I ended up in a dark alley with no human inhabitants. I decided to walk back where I came from, and thought it might be a good idea to get some directions from a restaurant. But wait, I spotted a couple, and from experience, getting directions from couples are always good.
I showed them my map, embarrassedly. They looked at it for a while and motioned for me to follow them. It turned out I was on the wrong side of the road, doh. They argued as couples do which way to go. It was cute. After 5 minutes they too stopped and asked for directions from a man who was walking his dog. He walked with us for a while and the four of us and the dog made an unlikely troop. Man With Dog left us, and in the end, Sylvia and Daniel not only walked with me all the way to L’s place, but even waited for me while I buzzed him just to make sure.
I got to L’s place and immediately got served with dinner. Now, is that Italian hospitality or what? Also, am feeling rather melancholic for many reasons. Shakespeare says it so well.
Parting is such sweet sorrow.