This is one of a few posts on dating men from other cultures or countries…
WARNING: if you are sensitive about stereotyping or mild xenophobia, I would stop reading now. That being said, it is all in jest and I am very aware that most of these stereotypes are purely coincidental.
I recently posted about the amusing experiences I had in The Summer of Tinder. But TSOT (it should be a film) was actually triggered by an unfortunate relationship and then going on a date with one of the most cliche stereotypes of all…
This is the story of cliché numero uno, the Italian stallion
The men, on the other hand, I have been wary of … Having been a regular visitor to Italy and being a long haired blonde, I have had mixed experiences with Italy’s menfolk.
Yes they are gorgeous and just my type, tall, dark and handsome (I defy anyone not to like this in a man… one of my housemates only goes for blondes with blue eyes…ridiculous borderline racist behaviour!) However, the charm it wears thin. From the moment you reach the airport, “Ciao, Bella!”, catcalls, wolf whistles and other animal type sounds … All of which adds to the fantasy of the passionate Italian man who will grab you by the waist, simultaneously serenading you whilst throwing you onto a gondola (No, just me??)
But the fact walking in an Italian city for a woman is like perpetually walking past a building site in England (Oiy,oiy!)… It is too much. It ruffles me, it reminds me that I am very English, in that restrained and distant way. On the one hand, I’m flattered, on the other I want to remind them of their manners and not to get me started on public displays of affection. (I did feel like the ultimate prude during one night time stroll in Rome)
Anyway, as is often the case, I had good intentions. Look at the nice Italian men whilst on holiday and stick to the good old, useless English ones at home. At least you know where you stand.
Oh, hindsight, you are a wonderful thing…
An evening out, rather merry…Dancing at a bar after a famous Bristol event (one of many, one of the reasons Bristol is such a great place to be single, young or anyone I guess…)
Meet a man. In fact meet several… I definitely remember telling someone from Cardiff that I didn’t like his aftershave. He affronted, naturally, tells me it is Armani, I claim it smells like ASDA’s own (And I wonder why I am single?….)
Then there is a lot of dancing. Hot and sweaty. At some point, the Italian appears. I remember this part clearly
Me: Are you SINGLE? (loudly to compete with the music)
That is the most important part of the conversation… the rest is brief. Apparently I tell him his dancing is 6/10 (again my flirting style is criticising and spot on!). Eventually my housemates decide to give up dancing and go get some chips. I agree… and give the Italian my number, he’s Italian after all.
He has the same name as my mum. So when I do get a text, three days later, it takes a while to compute. He offers a language exchange. I dither… his text is written in quite broken English. Can I deal with a date as a translator? Is it even a date? Due to a recent very short fling and the need to get over it, I decide (with the persuasion of a friend and several G&Ts) to go for it …
The day of the date arrives. I go for a pre-drink with a work friend who warns me this could purely be a language exchange. I, savvy as I am, have already googled language exchange and have discovered this basically translates to HOOK UP. This is good news… am I going to discover what I have always wondered about Italians? Roar…
The date starts amusingly. A man of similar height and colouring approaches me … (have I mentioned that this Italian is not the usual dark stud but a Sicilian redhead… (how on earth I managed to find the only redhead Italian in Bristol I do not know…) He smiles nicely, asks how I am. He’s quite cute so I smile back, wondering if that is a Bristolian-Italian accent (you know the one)… At which he realises I am not his date, and backs out of the pub faster than Usain Bolt…hmmm. I feel for him when his real date turns up (nothing like me, possibly blonde) and he ushers her into a different pub up the road.
The Italian arrives… not quite fireworks. But he is amusing, charming and buys me many drinks including quickly replacing one when I foolishly knock it over. We talk about history, law and our respective countries until closing time. He offers to walk me home. He kisses me on the cheek. I swoon when he says ciao. Italian stallion yessss….
So far, so buono.
But alas…the cliché ….
Firstly a text- He misses my hair (?) and the full moon is so beautiful, it is a sin I could not stay out longer…(I knew he’d mention the moon, just knew it!)
If you are going to date an Italian, you kind of expect the song and dance of over the top compliments and passion right…
We arrange to see each other again. Much of the same. No moves are made… This is ironic as before I went out with him, I did some blog reading on international dating and one such post claimed a man would be ridiculed in Italy if he sat on the sofa with a woman and did not try to kiss her. We first sit on chairs, and then moved to the sofa. Still nothing but he did get closer… gradually. A shy Italian? I resisted the temptation to explain to him the sofa rule and wandered home, contemplating when the stallion part would be revealed.
A weekend of no texts. I was busy so I didn’t ponder too deeply on this until the Monday. Finally, I cave and message him again…
He responds asking me to check my Facebook
A request that worryingly reminded me of this irritating scene …
Cliché no 2 (less fun than moon texts)
A long message full of broken English… to summarise: He has a girlfriend
His exact words “I have a girlfriend in Italy”.
Not just in Italy though really is it… If you have a girlfriend, she is always there. I don’t follow that post code excuse…
Can we blame this guy…
That is not the worst of it … After explaining that he wanted to tell me because it is the right thing to do… No wait, that’s the moral thing to say…After explaining that he wanted to tell me because she was visiting in two weeks (!?!!), he suggested we continue to see each other. But if we do see each other, he would like something to happen.
You can imagine the expletives I used and I was in a shop at the time… French connection, I believe, rather appropriately.
SO that was my experience of the Italian stallion. On the cliché counter, he didn’t fare too badly.Singing, check (in public, very loudly, I was torn between hilarity and mortification)Cheating, check. Lazy, check (he found Black Boy Hill quite a trek) Jealous, check (self confessed jealous guy… which makes me wonder if the Italian women are playing around as much as their counterparts?) Food lover, check (he demolished a whole plate of garlic bread during our second date)
On the other hand, he was entertaining, very intelligent, liked Albert Camus and graveyards (the latter of which is a MASSIVE plus for me). He was very knowledgeable and managed to explain Milanese architecture to me, quite a feat and he managed to do it without me yawning, very impressive.
But the Lothario thing is impossible to get over. He told me defensively that it is what every man does. Which I am trying not to believe, otherwise that is some pretty unhappy reading for my fellow ladies out there.
This story is not quite over… but for now…
Next in this series: Spanish Omelette anyone? 😉
For more, check out my fellow blogger here: http://theredlandrapscallion.wordpress.com
My best friend and I decided to leave Montreal for a two week vacation. We spent the first few days in Athens, went to Cairo, got traumatized and came right back to Greece to forget all about it.
Namely to Mykonos.
By that time it has already been nine days that we were out of Canada and I have not gotten laid yet. The blood was boiling inside of me. And it just happens that I got my period when we got to Mykonos. My dream of tasting a Greek man kinda faded away at that moment.
We rented this cute room/villa at this hotel on a hill about 10 minutes walking from little Venice.
The view was just dreamy! The smell of sea air, the mountains and the view of the turquoise water was incredible. Perfect place to fall in love/lust.
Once we got there, my friend Carla went to shower and I went to the pool bar to get our welcome drinks. As I walked through the opening, I saw these hot Italian looking men. So hot, they were probably gay. As I turn my head towards the bar my eyes rest on a good-looking bearded man behind it staring back at me. Jackpot.
While I’m sipping this whatever fruity drinks he made I am super aware of his eyes on me. He walks up and asks me where I’m from and we end up chit chatting. His name is Vasilis, he is Greek and twenty minutes later he is already inquiring about my plans for that night. Upon hearing my friend and I are thinking of hitting the party scene, he offers to show us around, throwing in “we can have a lot of fun together.”
I’m thinking this man either really likes me or he’s genuinely nice to hot tourists. I found out later that “we are gonna have fun” in Greek translates to “We are gonna have sex”. Me and my naive self. Oh well… What did I care? I knew nothing was gonna happen. It was my time of the month after all.
After walking around the beach and eating at a seaside restaurant with Carla, I was dying to go to the bar and see Vasilis, but it was already midnight so I figured “oh well… Another time.” Let’s see what Mykonos has in plans for us.
After a pretty crazy night out in Club Paradise, and a great start to the day at the pool, I was still hoping to see Vasilis. Instead, I see this other Greek stud. And I think to myself…. “Will I ever be able to stop falling for these Greek Gods?”
We rest around the pool, sleeping, enjoying the cloudless sky and the hot weather of Mykonos.
Then, in the corner of my eye, I see Vasilis at the bar, who seems like he sees me too. As I wake up from a nap after, I feel a little tap on my shoulder. I turn my head and guess what I see – Vasilis’ face looking at me with his big eyes, a drink in his hand.
“Hey K, this drink is for you. You never came to see me after and I was waiting for you”
“I was going to see you” I said “But it seemed kind of late”. That part of it was true.
After he left and I rested some more, I figured, hey this is my last day in Mykonos! I might as well go and innocently flirt with the bar boy. I will myself to walk up to the bar, giving a sign to Carla that I am abandoning her for an hour or so.
As Vasilis and I talk, I feel his eyes burning into me. He asks me what I’m doing tonight and I tell him I’m leaving back home.
“Oh no…” he says “I thought you were gonna stay longer. I could bring you to the beach and we could have fun there!”
“Yes I know” I sigh.
“You know, we can still have a lot of fun” he hints.
Ok, so I know where this is going, however I’m bleeding, but this is probably my last chance to get laid while I’m in Greece with a hot Greek man. I think “screw this” and grab his hand as I finish my cigarette. “Why don’t I call room service?”
I offer him to wait a few minutes then come up with a pretense of giving me my phone charger.
I said wait a few minutes then you can come by and give me my charger.
As I leave the bar, I am walking slowly. When I am sure nobody can see me, I charge. I tell Claudia that I’m gonna be busy with the boy so she can tan somewhere and read a book.
Get to the room. Clean myself. Pick up the messy clothes scattered everywhere. Get ready to greet him in my bikini.
He knocks. Comes in. As I close the door, he grabs my face passionately and kisses me.
Ouf…. I’m in heaven. We keep on making out, then I realize I’m still on my period, so I have to tell him. I start laughing and he’s a bit bedazzled, so I come right out and say it.
He looks at me with his wide eyes “Are you serious?”
I’m thinking this guy is probably feeling like he has made a bad choice! First I gotta leave in two hours, and then this surprise!
But then he surprises me even more by offering “other holes!” I guess it’s true what they say about Greeks!
I offer to go to the shower instead.
We get in the shower. The window is open so you can see the mountains outside and the breeze is coming through. We have the best sex ever: it is passionate, unexpected and incredible!
As we finish, we dry ourselves, kiss, and I thank him for his “room service” which makes him burst out laughing. Before he left the room he told me to pass by the bar and say goodbye.
Truth is, I didn’t wanna say goodbye. I just wanted to stay in perfect Mykonos forever. My face was glowing so much, Carla looked at me and started laughing.
As I walk up to him to get my final drink, it’s sunset and my body is filled with all kinds of emotions. I feel like crying of happiness, because I had such a wonderful experience with this place. I give him one final hug and I leave.
As we’re in the car to get to the ferry and my mind is still in the clouds, I receive a message from Vasilis: “I will miss you. Hope to see you again :)”
Even though we are leaving this paradise, I’m in heaven.
By next day, I came down to earth. Through Facebook, Carla and I realized he lied about a couple of things. First he lied about his age. Twice! First he told me he was twenty two instead of twenty five. Then it turns out he is actually twenty years old. Way to feel like a craddle robber instead of a man eater I initially considered myself as!
Second it turns out not only does he actually have a girlfriend, after telling me he was single, but that they have been together for three years!
Don’t get me wrong, I was still on a high because of what I’ve experienced. But let’s just say that I felt bad for that poor little girl who trusted this man whore.
And the worst is yet to come. When I get back home and we chat, he tells me he is waiting for both Carla and I to come back because he would love to have fun together. By this time, I get the full definition of fun.
About the writer: Vietnamese, born in Montreal, 27, single, and living the life.