Tuesday, November 13, 2012

That Time I Met Fonzie in Italy

Actually, it was two Fonzie’s but I’ll get back to that.

Right before my 30th birthday, my dad found out he would be going to Rome for work.  He invited my brother and I to join him.  My friend Winter has a birthday right after mine so I thought it might be a fun 30th birthday trip if she went.  She agreed as well as our other friend Kelly.

So off we went to Rome.  The weekend after my birthday we thought we would go out for a birthday bonanza celebration.  We picked a bar out of the guidebook and headed out.  We got there around 10:00 or so, but apparently in Rome only the lame and/or Americans show up that early.  Being the only people there we got an early start to our drinking.  A few beers later and the locals started to arrive.

By this point, we had had enough liquid courage to make bad white girl dancing seem like a good idea.  Kelly and I went to bust a move on the dance floor.  You have not lived until you have seen Kelly do the Sprinkler.  I must have skipped the part in the guidebook that described how bad 80’s dancing is considered provocative in Italy but we attracted the attention of both a group of creepy Italian men and one very nice lesbian.  The very nice lesbian tried to shield us from the handsy Italians, but when this failed we decided it was time to leave.

A couple of beers had convinced me that a) I spoke Italian and b) my friends would understand it.

“Andiamo Winter!  Andiamo” , I yelled to Winter who was sitting on a couch.
“Sabine….you are yelling in Italian.  She does not understand you.”

Kelly communicated to Winter in non-drunken understandable language that it was time to go and the three of us headed out.  The group of creepy Italian men followed.

They followed us all the while asking us to come back.
I said no, but with my American accent this somehow was understood as “Please keep following and pestering the bejesus out of us. “
“YOU STAY.  WE GO!”  said Kelly stamping her foot in frustration.
Now they became more than irritating and started to physically try to steer us back to the bar.  In one split second, Winter on my left is being led down an alleyway away from us and to my right Kelly had fallen flat on her face, a result of a bum ankle combined with cobblestone and high heels.

Now we were in full on “Band of Brothers” mode.
“Get Winter!  Just leave me!”
I ran as fast as my high-heeled feet would take me and finally caught up to her and the two of us ran back to find Kelly.  A couple of the creepy men had taken a break from being creepy and had helped her to sit on a stone wall.  We put Kelly between us and try to make our way to a main street to get a taxi. 

Once we got to a busier street, a car with two men saw us with our limping friend and asked if we were ok.  Kelly got in the car.  You didn’t miss the part where they invited us in the car or asked if we needed a ride.  She just got in.  We knew we weren’t going to leave her so we got in too.  Two very confused Italian men were now staring at the three somewhat inebriated Americans sitting in the back of their car.

We had no idea exactly where we were or how to get back to our hotel.
“okay….eh….you want we drop you at coffee shop?”
That sounded as good as any plan so that’s what we did.  They helped us get Kelly inside.  We chatted for a while and they asked what we were doing in Italy.  We told them and they told us they were both lawyers and they were getting ready to go to a party.  They tried to tell us what kind of party but their English was limited as was our Italian.

“You know…eh…Happy Days?” (In your head, say this with an Italian accent.  It’s funnier.)
They opened their winter coats to reveal that underneath they were wearing white t-shirts and leather jackets.  They extended their arms, gave the thumbs up, and in perfect Italian unison give a cheerful, “Aaaayyyy!”

And that is how I met two Fonzie’s in Italy.

It was like this except times two and Italian.


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