Etrange Garçon (Strange Boy) (2013)

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A story of a guy I was really attracted to who I both understood perfectly and was baffled by at the same time.

His bright green eyes gazed at me from across the room. He was just my type. Tanned and dark haired, with an athletic, well built body and attractive face.  We locked our gazes over and over again as I waited for my food.

I was in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I came to Panama for a teaching job and was traveling for two weeks, before I had to start work in Panama City. That day was my last day of ‘real’ vacation. And that’s (conveniently) the day I saw him.

We received our food simultaneously. We ordered the same thing – hamburgers and fries. They called our order at the same time. When we both asked for mayo, I realized it was now or never.

Where we met

Where we met

“You are Spanish?” I asked in Spanish. He looked it.

“I am French” He responded still in Spanish.

We sat down at the same bench and began talking. Giles was from a small French city close to the Spanish border and that is possibly why he looked so damn Spanish, but also had his mesmerizing green eyes. I just had a huge zit under my nose. Don’t you just love how on time zits are? I was trying to hide it underneath my glasses the whole day, but now without them I felt like it was dominating my whole face. Thankfully, that didn’t faze him.

As I talked to him over our burgers, I realized he was exactly what I was looking for: attractive, smart, witty, easy to talk to and very genuine. Why, oh why did I only meet him today? Little did I know we actually spent an entire week in the same surfing village prior to this and never met. What an irony indeed.

After eating we headed to the beach where we lay around and talked about everything in the world. He told me about his anxiety over flying and I, who also sort of battles with the same fear, understood him perfectly.

I loved that he could talk to me as if he had known me for years. I felt an ease and a depth with him that I don’t usually feel. There was no pretending, no awkwardness, no guessing.. It seemed natural and effortless: this chat on the beach. We swam around and jumped from the dock holding hands. Then took a boat to the main island and made plans to meet that evening in the park.

bocas2

He came bringing candy and talked so quickly I could tell he was nervous which made me feel a little more confident.  We walked to a bar on the dock and sat in a boat. Up until now, I think that was one of the most romantic nights of my whole experience in Panama. At least that part of it. We drank rum’n’cokes on the boat next to the bar, listened to Latin music and finally he leaned in to kiss me.

The rest of the night we danced in the outdoor bar, kissing over and over.. I felt alive. And the strangest thing? He told me the same.

“I feel alive when I am with you” He told me and I believed him partly. It was a little too much, since we only met each other a few hours ago, but he was from France and they love to throw romantic words around.

It was perfect. Up until we went to the beach.

I have this rule of telling guys that I will not have sex. And of course that is the goal. However, my weakness lately has been that I couldn’t resist the foreplay and that had some not-so good results. The point is to decide what you want right away. I am way too curious and unable to think with my head sometimes. This was one of those incidents.

I told Giles I wouldn’t have sex with him, but it was actually my idea to go to the beach. I just needed to spend some more time with him. And to touch him more. As things got heated up, he started expecting I return the favor. Except, note: he never gave me oral. So I am not sure what favor he was really expecting.

Either way, I hate the tit-for-tat childishness, so I gave him a firm NO. Now, instead of acting like a 29 year old he was, he got MAD. He got up and began removing sand from our towel but literally whacking it against the tree. I just sat there with my mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe someone over the age of puberty could be so mad about a lack of a blow job.

We walked in silence, which was broken by me.

“Are we seriously not talking because I didn’t give you a blow job?”

“What do you think?” He replied bitterly and I swear I saw a kind of mental glimmer and even his eyes got darker. But maybe that was just my imagination.

“This is crazy.” I said. “I am not some sixteen year old girl to be forced to give you oral.”

“What? What does sixteen have to do with this?” He almost yelled and walked away, leaving me alone under the rain.

I stood there, unable to process what has just happened. And please believe me when I say that even though what was happening was crazy I actually wanted him more. This fiery exchange ignited some weird twisted feeling in me.

He was waiting for me near his hostel. As I approached he took my head into his hands gently and told me he meant when he said he liked me. He kissed me then. I wanted him even more. How messed up is that?

I agreed to spend the night in his uncomfortable bed just to be close to him for one more night. Then, at dawn, I kissed him and left.

In two weeks, Giles was coming to Panama City for three nights before flying back to France. I knew what I saw were red flags, but I still yearned for him and the fact that I felt lonely didn’t help matters.

Panama City

Panama City

We didn’t meet the first night due to miscommunication, and I should have been very wary when he offered to meet on the last night only. At the end though, he managed to make a plan to meet me in the park near my house. I knew I shouldn’t have gone, but what do you do when you want to see someone so damn much?

As I saw him sitting there in the park near the giant Einstein head, all my negative emotions went away. He was wearing a gray t-shirt that made his tan stand out more and lit up his green eyes. I came in a flowery dress he couldn’t stop fawning over. Our eyes locked again and we couldn’t stop staring at each other as if we were dumbstruck teenagers.

We met near the Einstein head on my street

We met near the Einstein head on my street

As we had drinks and tapas at a nearby Spanish restaurant, he caressed my cheek.

“I remember why I like you so much” He said in that deep voice of his. “I am really glad I came to see you. And now we get to spend the night together. This couldn’t be better.”

I didn’t bother to tell him that he was being presumptuous in the whole ‘spending the night’ idea. Even though he technically wasn’t since I was dying to have sex with him.

We listened to a band play as he caressed my hair. It has been so long since I have had a boyfriend that I allowed myself to fantasize that he was actually with me. My own slightly weird but gorgeous and charismatic man. The man that then pressed me to the wall and kissed me passionately. I wanted him so much. No matter the consequences.

We took a taxi to his hotel and as he took a shower, I lay on the bed pretending to watch TV in a sexy pose, which I adjusted a few times.  He walked out dripping water,a  towel on his hips and lowered himself on top of me. Afterwards, as he entered me a crazy thought also entered my mind.

We are now one.

I have never had this thought as loud in my head, even though I have liked other guys so this surprised me.

The other thing that surprised me even more was that when I tried to actually give him the blowjob he desired so much on the beach, he felt all uncomfortable about it. Actually, he said his body was getting all tingly and he couldn’t handle me even kissing his stomach. What was this, Fifty Shades of Grey? (You can only get this joke if you read the book)

And the final thing that surprised me was that after all the post-sex kissing we slept separately. He never hugged me to him, and even said something along the lines of:

“It looks like this bed has three people in it. There could be another person on your side the way you are so close to me.”

Didn't see the third person

Didn’t see the third person

At that moment I told myself I had imagined it. But now I know it was real.

All night long I kept on dreaming about hugging him close to me. I yearned for it with all my body, but even as I complained about the cold air conditioning, he got up and turned it off but never cuddled me close to him. I have even had a one-night stand cuddle with me in bed, and a guy who seemed so genuine now felt colder than the air conditioning itself.

The next day was his last one. He watched me get ready for work with an adoring smile on his face, then kissed me goodbye, telling me we would meet at 5pm.

I left work early so I could move to my new apartment, get ready and meet with him. But he never wrote me. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think of anything else. I was on pins and needles  the whole day. I was actually concerned he got killed and ended up calling his hotel twice. Later telling him it was once.

I sat here, unable to eat anything

I sat here, unable to eat anything

He wrote to me in the evening to tell me he was at the Canal, that his day was “amazing!”, that he was with a friend and that he would meet me at eleven a.m.

I was very hurt he wanted to wait until night to meet with a girl he was spending the last day with (make that last night), and the reasoning was that he made some friends he wanted to spend time with. However, I didn’t want to become the nagging wife and sadly,  I wanted to see him too much.

But he never wrote to me  by eleven and as I sat there, staring at the city out my window and crying like there was no tomorrow, I decided “screw this” and removed my makeup. The whole day I felt like there was a knife stuck in my throat. It hurt that much.cryingwoman2

As soon as I was getting into bed, I got a new message.

“I’m so sorry!” It said “Meet me at 12:30 in the park”

And what did I do against my better judgement? I put the damn makeup back onto my puffed up face and ran out the door.

He got outside of the taxi and ran to me, lifting me up in the air. Some guys clapped for us. We got some drinks and talked, but I saw his eyes were different. He no longer looked at me with the affection that lit up his face, and he actually looked troubled. I thought it might have had to do with the anxiety over the upcoming flight. But the point is, the connection we had was gone. He seemed a different person.

We went to dance, but he no longer actually wanted to dance. He didn’t even want to try salsa – too scared he would fail. I realized that he had quite a lot of hangups and there might have been some mental issues he was dealing with.

The sex was also different. It seemed as if he was going through the motions, no longer connected to me. If he ever really was.

As we fell asleep separately I was prepared to say bye to the boy I never really knew. But then came another surprise.

As I woke up early in the morning, the place beside me was empty and the door was left ajar. Assuming he went out for a drink or to the bathroom, I waited for him to come back. He never did. His flight was at 3pm.

There was no note and no explanation.8_fin40

PS. Since he is still on my Facebook, I asked him why he left like that. He said I looked so beautiful he didn’t want to wake me up. Of course, that is a load of bull. He still writes little things to me, but he has yet to write an email explaining his behavior. This is the reason I have not acknowledged them. Not that he deserves it either.

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The Sexy Bartender (2009) – The South African

I was twenty-four and traveling across Europe with a Contiki tour group. In a month we were supposed to cover around eight countries: from England, to Spain, to Switzerland, to the Netherlands.

I instantly bonded with the girls on the trip and made two friends: Demi and Diana who were both from Australia. Demi was a friendly blonde girl who clearly went to Europe to let all her inner devils out as she was constantly drunk to the point of stupidity or unconsciousness.  Diana was a slightly insecure brunette, who always seemed to crave approval. Too white and too curvy, she always compared herself with me, who was ‘too dam’ tanned and skinnay!’

Oh God...

Oh God…

At certain times, I got along with her perfectly; other times she made me feel like I was on the episode of the Hills with all the ridiculous drama and gossiping. Her insecurity became especially evident when it came to ‘who liked whom’ and she later came up with a rule that whenever one of us ‘claimed a guy’, mostly her, no one else could steal him away. The hilarity of it was that Demi went along with it happily, until one night she ended up having sex with a boy Diana already ‘claimed’. After this night, I stopped participating in their girly nonsense and became friends with a couple of hilarious guys from the group.

our Chateau

Besides the initial connection with the girls, I felt zero attraction to all the guys on the tour. I was quite disappointed when at the first group meeting in London I have realized that there was absolutely no potential in the group. The guys were okay, but they were not someone I would ever go for. Most were loud and obnoxious Australians who drank constantly. None were my type.

Our second stop was Bordeaux – a beautiful wine region in France. The bus swerved along the green hills until we stopped in front of a gigantic imperial Chateaux. This is where we were supposed to sleep for the two next days. That is until sleeping turned into partying and water in the sinks turned into puke.

We unpacked and quickly changed into our bikinis. I wore my bright orange one, hoping to show off to the boys from the other group. They definitely had more selection than we did. In comparison to all the Aussie girls I was the darkest with my deep tan and dark hair, so tanned in fact that I literally always get mistaken for Latin.

While in the water, I suddenly spotted a group of guys in red shirts standing by the railing some distance away. One, a very cute blond one was looking my way. A few minutes later, they disappeared just as if they never stood there.

Gollum-lord-of-the-rings

Precious!

After the pool there was the wine tasting. Constantly our schedules were filled up by one event after another, which was a lot of fun unless you were sick or tired. Later on in the trip I was practically forced to walk around Rome feeling like I was going to pass out. And believe me, when you are on the verge of collapsing, no amount of statues or Italian men can make you feel better. On top of it all, I now have lost my voice and couldn’t speak. When I did speak I sounded like the Gollum from the Lord of the Rings.

The bed with no railings!

I came in late for the wine tasting. An average looking plump guy was talking about wine, and then another guy took his place. That was the cute blond from the pool. Broad shouldered and athletic, with short hair and light eyes, he was funny and well spoken. And by the look of the drooling girls in the crowd, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Marla, the red-headed girl from my group looked smitten by him and as soon as he finished the speech, walked up and flirted mercilessly.

“This is disguising” I whispered to Demi and Diana. “Could she be more obvious?”

“Actually” I continued, eyeing Marla as she walked away. “There was one question I wanted to ask…”

groupie

Ugh

Breaking my very serious resolution to not approach this guy, simply because I hate feeding someone’s ego and I being yet another groupie, I walked up the table and directed my attention to the plump guy.

“I have no voice” I whispered “is there anything you can give me to cure it?”

The blond cutie laughed. “How about O de V? A shot of that would probably make you feel better. Even if you don’t get your voice back”

“Whatever helps!” I beamed. Demi and Diana were beaming too, a little too much. They were definitely making me feel like I was part of some boy band fan club. At least they had enough decency not to lift up the shirts so he could sign their breasts.

The blond boy poured all of us a shot from a bottle that had a worm swimming in it and we toasted. He introduced himself as Myles and the plump boy as Sam. Myles worked as a bartender at the Chateaux for a few months, but was originally from South Africa. He had the most beautiful accent I have ever heard. We talked a little bit and I could sense that Myles was interested in me. He paid some attention to the girls, but most of his conversation was aimed at me who still tried to be as flirty as I could be while sounding like a scary creature.

“There’s a party tonight” he said “I hope to see you all there.”

“Sure” giggled Diana yet again “We will see you there!” she twisted her shoulders in order to appear sexier. It made me nauseous.

Our walk back to the Chateaux was filled with the most girly talk you can imagine consisting of he’s so hot and who does he like, finishing with whoever he likes, that’s who gets him. I agreed with the plan, because I was pretty certain he liked me.

The basement bar was filled with people from our group and many from the other bus. I spotted Myles at the bar and he smiled to me charmingly. I took a deep breath. He was really gorgeous in that beach boy kind of way.

I positioned myself in his eye view and danced, turning back every so often to check if he was still looking at me. I noticed Marla on the other side of the room also throwing glances his way. I was not exactly jealous of her, but I felt that if I did not do anything soon, she would. So I inhaled deeply and walked up to him.

He seemed genuinely interested in talking to me and actually asked me personal questions about my job and my life. The conversation was going very smoothly, until Demi, who was standing to the side of me laughing with Sam and drinking, simply collapsed to the floor. She did not look sick nor did she prepare herself for the fall. She literally collapsed like a sack of potatoes, killing my conversation immediately.

I was scared for her but also angry at her for ruining my night. I rushed to her side immediately, screaming “Demi!” but she wouldn’t even budge. Myles offered to carry her to our room and Sam helped him, while Diana and I walked alongside them. Once in the room, Demi gained consciousness, but at this point I couldn’t exactly leave her alone, so I nursed her back to health. Myles and Sam left back to the bar.

After Demi stopped throwing up and started laughing like her usual self, I decided to head back. I tried to talk to Myles, but he was distracted, so I went back to dance. Soon, he came to join us. Slightly drunk, he danced close to me, but for some reason I felt uncomfortable getting really close, even though I was extremely attracted to him. Marla, however, did not hesitate a bit. She was suddenly all over him. Wanting him to realize that I was classier and would not slobber all over his body, I held back. Torn between the two of us, Myles looked like a lost child. The top part of his body leaned my way, but the bottom wanted an easy lay.

The bottom half clearly won as soon he disappeared through the door. Marla followed him. The rest of the evening I sat on the windowsill and cried with Cassie, an older girl from my tour.
“Why are guys like this?” I asked. “Do I have to be a slut to get someone?”

“No, you don’t.” Answered Cassie. “You only have to be a slut to get someone for one night and that’s what Marla will get.”

Obviously Myles wasn’t my soul mate and clearly we were not meant to be together, but it hurt to be rejected like this. My pride held me from chasing after him and I would not go against myself in order to attain someone. In order to have meaningless sex with someone I barely knew? Still the picture of them two in bed was depressing. Here I was, trying to be coy and playful and all she had to do was follow him out the door. How is that for subtle?

I went to sleep in tears. Thankfully I didn’t fall off my bed with no railings! Otherwise I would have been crying in the vineyards.

The next morning I have decided to try another strategy. After all, we still had one more day. At this point it was my self esteem that needed a lift. However, I didn’t see him until the early evening. During the morning we had to go for a picnic to the vineyards. Marla was there with her little clique and I still remember how much I loathed her. Every laugh I saw, every smile just made me imagine her in bed with Myles. And I was extremely jealous.

The picnic was torture. It was extremely beautiful: rolling green hills and a variety of fruits along the way, but all I wanted to do was get back to the Chateaux so I could see him again. I knew I shouldn’t even talk to him again after what happened, but I could not let it go.

I saw him later on when we went down for dinner. He was behind the bar, but paid very little attention to me. I was so conscious of him being there that I could not concentrate on anything. I absentmindedly listened to people talk and smiled at appropriate moments. Why wasn’t he paying attention to me?

I was so miserable and felt so insecure that I have even changed my clothes and put some makeup on so he would notice me. However, that changed nothing. So I sat there furiously until I thought enough is enough and went up to my room.

I sat on the bed feeling dejected when Demi walked in the room.

“What’s wrong?” She asked me.

I ended up telling her how disguising I felt about the whole situation. I was still obsessed with a guy who was ignoring me and has already slept with another girl.

Demi sat on the bed. “Mia” she said in a conversation I never forgot to this day. “You are the most beautiful girl on this tour. Not only are you pretty on the outside, but you have an incredible personality that goes along with it. So start believing in yourself.”

The fact that Demi could comfort me without a touch of jealousy or girly cattiness literally wowed me. In that short speech she had lifted my spirits so high I felt like I was on top of the world. It is incredible what a surge of confidence can do to your appearance and how people start looking at you.

I changed into my heels and a sparkling yellow top and walked out the door – my head Wonder-Woman_Animatedhigh. Every step I made was filled with  confidence. I am pretty! I do have a great personality! And I am confident! I thought as I walked down the hall. Who is he or Marla for that matter to make me feel insecure?

Suddenly, I felt as if everyone became so utterly insignificant and here I was – radiating with confidence.

Diana caught up with me in the hall and stared at me with even more insecurity and some confusion as she followed me down the stairs. Immediately, I walked up the bar stand.

“How are you?” I asked Myles playfully. His face literally lit up. I could control him like a puppet, I suddenly realized.

The power that confidence can give us is truly incredible as he no longer treated me as invisible. In fact, I was more than visible as he literally could not take his eyes off of me and my new found confidence.

“If you turn on some Latin music” I offered “ I can teach you how to dance salsa.”

“Deal” he smiled and we shook hands on it.

Minutes later he ran up to me saying he could not find any Latin music, but we could still dance to something else.

“Let’s get some air instead” I offered.

I'M-SEXY-AND-I-KNOW-IT-песочница-114840He followed me up the stairs commenting all the while about my fit legs and how often I must go to the gym. We sat on the hill outside the Chateau right underneath my window and talked. In reality, maybe because he was drunk or tired, or possibly because he really was not my ‘type’ we had not very much to talk about. Our conversation was quite hollow and very dull. In fact, I felt as if I was slowly being slaughtered.

Suddenly we heard voices from the window above us: “Just do it!” Turned out afterwards, it was the girls from my room who, much like me, could no longer handle the agony of this painful conversation.

“Well, I should go” he suddenly said, but did not move.

“Let’s go then” I said, pissed off at him and stupid me for trying to ‘entice him’. I think I even tried my Russian accent on him, which is usually my last plan. And which generally works quite well. I began picking up my shoes.

“I should tell you something” he then said. “I am very attracted to you, but I already hooked up with one of the girls on your bus. And to be honest, I didn’t really like her.. She was just there and I went for it.”

His honesty took me back a little. Ok, so at least he had the decency to let me know.

“I know” I told him. For some reason I exclaimed that Marla wasn’t even attractive and muttered about how sad it was to chase after a guy like that. Even though, technically, that’s exactly what I was doing.

He stared at me for some time, then realizing I was not angry and was still interested, leaned in to kiss me. We kissed for some time, though I felt cheap, as if I was still the second best. Here I was, putting down the girl for sleeping with a guy, yet still taking her hand-me-downs.

After we kissed, he had to go back to work and I went back to answer multiple questions from girls. When I came up to the bar, Marla was there, but he was smiling to me. It felt amazing. However, it clearly infuriated her and she tried to get his attention any way she could: she flirted and danced with another guy in front of his face, but he did not seem to care.

Later, Demi and I as well as a few other guys from our group, sat on the couches outside of the Chateau. Myles came out of the door of the building and awkwardly smoked as he stared my way until I picked up my shoes and walked towards him, through the hooting of “he’s dreamy!” that a few guys started.

e372d92cMarla eyed us as we walked into the doorway and I definitely felt a lot of pleasure from her watchful gaze. He led me into the Chateau where he pressed me against the wall and kissed me passionately. He would tease me by kissing me deeply then pulling back and running his hand over my neck and stomach. The bastard knew what he was doing as every time he pulled away from me, I wanted him even more. I swear it was incredible.

However, I would never be someone’s second best.

“I will not have sex with you” I smiled to him. He seemed a little bit thrown off, but continued kissing me as if I haven’t said anything. He told me he would close the bar and find me.

He may have come out looking for me, or I may have created that illusion to console myself, because when he did come out again, Marla joined him. I was incredulous. “Does he expect me to go there with both of them?” I asked Demi. I looked, but I couldn’t move. They sat side by side talking and suddenly disappeared in the doorway.

I guess his lower half won again.

I was disgusted with both of them: with her because she knew he was with me and yet had no pride to say no to him, and him because he had nothing besides his penis to think for him. I sat on the bathroom floor crying, then finally sobered up. Who was he to cry over? I created an illusion out of a guy, simply because he was ‘my type’. A guy who constantly fooled around with eager girls passing by Bordeaux, hoping to have their little fling in the vineyards. Marla and I were just one of many.

I never told Marla about my side of the story after we became closer friends. Apparently the night with Myles also meant a lot to her as it was the first time she ever had a one night stand and I didn’t want to ruin on her parade. It was kind of ironic how much I hated her when in reality it was him who made the choice.

1de113708cdf75ebeec48b601e6b4925-d2y5bshI realize that this is a pretty insignificant story. However, for one reason or another, I still remember this player boy from time to time,especially the thrill I felt while being kissed against the wall. And isn’t it what we all want – some passion? Even if it is followed by some tears in the bathroom!

A player or a romantic? – Part 1: Rome (2011)

I fell for this guy because I thought he was bad. A player. Instead, what I found out is that looks can truly be deceiving.

He was beautiful. I noticed him our first night in the restaurant while my American friend Pamela and I were eating dinner. I was travelling through Europe for two months and Italy was our third country. After Rome, we would take an overnight ferry that would bring us to Croatia.

Though the main reason for my trip was of course my love for travelling and adventure, I also wanted to take this time to figure out if I really wanted to stay with Dominick. Yes, the guy I already cheated on at the beginning of our relationship (see Non Parle Americano). It has been eight months since we’ve been together and even though he looked perfect on paper, not to mention, loved by my whole family, I didn’t love him. The first time he told me he loved me, I remember I said something along the lines of ‘wow. How incredible’ and the next time I randomly blurted out me too. Not ‘I love you too’. No, me too. I said it out of nowhere. I just couldn’t bring myself to say the word love to him, because these words were a blatant lie.

At the bottom of my heart, leaving for Europe signified the end of us. I selfishly made him wait for me as I went to explore what I really wanted. And I knew that what I wanted was someone else.

However, all I really met were a lot of players, shallow guys and men that were really not worth it. Should I stay with Dominick by default? Just because I couldn’t find any better?

We arrived at the campsite late at night. Looking around the beautiful grounds I felt uplifted: there was a giant pool, beautiful flowers, palm trees and an open air restaurant with live music. It was an incredibly romantic place, however, it seemed that the only people vacationing there were families. Now, eating dinner, I turned my head to the right only to see the most beautiful profile of a guy. He was tanned, with gorgeous almond shaped chocolate eyes and full sensual lips. He was sitting at the table with two dark guys and a blonde girl, serious and oblivious to my stares.

The most remembered meal from the trip. The beef carpaccio was amazing

The most remembered meal from the trip. The beef carpaccio was amazing

He disappeared after dinner and I figured I wouldn’t see him again. Pamela, who was very outgoing and a little bit intimidating for some guys because she was quite masculine and dominating, somehow managed to meet a cute Colombian called Jose. While Jose and her were hitting it off, I sat near his unibrowed friend Antony and sulked.

“Can we maybe look for something in the city tomorrow?” I asked selfishly. She was in seventh heaven after meeting Jose, but I only cared about myself. I knew I would have to spend my evenings watching their romance, while nothing would happen for me unless I wanted to give it a go with his unibrow friend.

The next day we spent exploring the extremely hot and tiring city of Rome, which is made especially annoying in August as it is swamped by tourists. I swear you cannot even see the Trevi Fountain behind all the Asians with their huge, expensive cameras. As soon as we got back we headed to the pool to wash off the sticky sweat from the city. I was sitting on the lounge chair when I saw him enter. He looked just as beautiful as I remembered: tall, bronze, his face now unshaven. I watched him swim laps in the pool all the while sighing like a fifteen year old.

Our pool

“He’s so my type! What do I do?”

Pame shrugged. “Just wait until the evening, when everyone starts drinking. It will be easier than in the daylight.”

She was right. I had to talk to him. I just didn’t know if I had enough guts to make the first move.

He got out of the water and sat on the chair, smoking with a vacant look in his liquid brown eyes. He didn’t even notice me as I stuck out my butt and strutted in front of him.

I saw him again in the evening. He was standing near the piano, listening to one of the musicians play and singing along in Portuguese. He looked like a Brazilian model: broad-shouldered, gorgeous and tanned in his white shirt and faded jeans. I breathed a sigh of nervousness. Oh my God. He is the man of my dreams. 

Colombian Jose and Unibrow Antony suggested getting some drinks at the Beer Garden where the Brazillian band was playing. I happily agreed. Can we sit on the benches here? Near him?

I stared at his broad back, until I must have shot holes through him with my deadly stare, because he turned around and gave me a glance. The glance, however, was completely neutral. That didn’t mean I was giving up. Any time I want to draw a guy’s attention, I always go to my Plan B: dancing. Practically forcing Jose and Pame on the dance floor, I danced nervously right in front of his eyes. When I got enough courage, I finally looked at his expression. Once again, he looked blank and serious. Seriously, what is up with this guy? I thought. Cursing everything under my breath and feeling completely invisible, I left the dance floor and went to go check the internet. Clearly, he’s seen his share of beautiful women. Why would he go for some girl in a yellow dress?

the Beer Garden

When I came back I noticed that the boy and one of his friends stayed alone and have now moved to a table far across from us. In the middle there was another table with a few people playing cards. I threw awkward gazes at him, until Jose looked  at me.

“You like the guy in the white?” He asked with a wide grin.

“No. Yes.” I mumbled.

“Then you should do something.” He offered.

“I am not doing anything. I don’t know if he’s interested. I mean, he is kind of looking at me. Oh my God.” I breathed, seeing him get up from his table. “Is he coming over?”

The beautiful boy and his friend took their beers and walked towards us. This is it, I thought. However, my heart literally dropped when he moved to the table in between. Namely, right near a blonde girl.

Yep, it wasn’t me he was checking out.

“So are you going to talk to him?” asked Jose.

“Just stop. Please. He’s not interested.” I muttered. He was starting to piss me off and in all honesty I just felt pathetic. I spent half my night staring at a guy who wasn’t interested in me after all. Could I be any more of a loser?

Suddenly, another thought came into my mind. I was on vacation. What did I have to lose? Sure, he looked like a player. Sure, he was beautiful. But how could I be positive about anything unless I talked to him? Otherwise, I would spend the rest of my night staring at Pamela sticking her tongue down Jose’s mouth and thinking What if.

“Give me some wine, please” I ordered Pamela. Taking the plastic cup with my shaking hands, I stood up. “I am going to talk to him.”

Thank you, wine in a paper cup

Thank you, wine in a paper cup

“Wow” grinned Pamela. “I am really proud of you. Do it.”

Nervous as hell, I walked up to their table. “Can I join the game?” I asked to no one in particular. His dark friend looked up.

“Yes, of course” He said in his bad English. I awkwardly seated myself on his right. The beautiful boy was in front of me, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. I did get a glance at the girl. She was not pretty. Not only that, she had a really hippy looking bearded man for a boyfriend. Wow, how deceiving it can be when you judge a situation from a distance. Namely, from someone’s back!

I continued talking to his friend(who turned out to be his cousin)for some time. Then I finally found the guts to turn my head and look at my boy. He smiled at me. I smiled back and talked very fast as I always do when I am nervous.

His name was Luiz and he was from Portugal, though as I assumed correctly, he was part Brazilian. And the strangest thing? Luiz was nice. He looked like a very successful and gorgeous player, but he wasn’t. Or at least he didn’t seem like one. His English wasn’t great, but at this point, what did I care? I was actually talking to him. And he wasn’t someone I thought he was. In a good way.

And he was twenty-three. I was officially becoming a cradle robber.

Behind him, Jose and Pamela held thumbs up. That is before, they stuck their tongues down each other’s mouths for about an hour and disappeared.

I spent some time talking to Luiz, until I figured I should try to get him away from the crowd. Subtly!

“ I should go back to bed.” I said. Luiz, not getting the hint, grew visibly disappointed.

“Would you like to walk me back?” I offered not so subtly.

He nodded happily. We started walking to the cabin, when he asked me if I wanted to take a walk around the park.

tumblr_m5y9k7oDPX1r3a6jho1_500The walking turned into sitting and sitting turned into lying as he spread out his sleeping bag on the ground. It was a freezing night, so he gave me his sweatshirt and kept on covering me up every second to make sure I was warm. We kissed and talked. Kissed and talked again. This went on for hours. He would sweep the hair from my eyes and run his hands over my face.

“I really like kissing you.” He told me. Was he just saying that to get me into bed? Looking at him and his sexy eyes, it was hard to imagine him as anything other than a player, but the gentle way he was with me proved otherwise. Granted, he did press me down and try to take it further. Even though I wanted him, I stopped it at kissing. Luiz seemed both innocent and impish at the same time. I didn’t know which side was true. But he was definitely one – a romantic.

He walked me back to the cabin, a sleeping bag on his shoulders and I kissed him goodnight, standing on my tiptoes.

“Goodnight Mia” he smiled softly. I ran into the cabin like a little girl.  I fell asleep exhilarated  No thought about Dominick even crossed my mind.

The next day was our final one in Rome and coincidentally, his final one  as well. Distracted, in the ruins of the Coliseum, all I could think about was seeing Luiz again. After all, this was it.

When we came back, I was extremely nervous.

“Don’t build yourself up” told me Pamela as we sat in the restaurant, waiting for our order. She has recounted her amazing sex with Jose, how it went on for the longest time and what a big dingaling he had. However, what threw her was that he never even asked her for her contact information. She didn’t understand it.

“I mean, he could meet another girl or maybe you won’t like him. Who knows?” she shrugged. “Just relax and see what happens.”

Thanks, I wanted to say, that is a really uplifting speech. However, I felt like I knew Luiz. He wouldn’t do this to me. He was a genuinely sweet guy.

When he entered the restaurant, my heart began palpitating again. He was just so incredibly gorgeous. I was unsure if he saw me, because he looked so serious. He didn’t smile or wave at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as I ate the pasta. He was wearing a hoodie and jeans, his beautiful dark eyes concentrated on something.

Later on, when I was almost close to freaking out, we finally saw each other in the lobby. He smiled to me and kissed me on the cheek.

“Do you girls want to join us for drink?” He asked.

We sat with his cousins as Pamela told one story after another. To me, it felt like I was in English for Beginner’s Class. Pamela, who is a teacher like me, knew how to tell a story not only well but clearly. The Portuguese found everything hilarious and laughed in unison.

Pamela fell in love with Luiz. “If you don’t sleep with him, I swear I will” she told me in the bathroom. “He’s just adorable.”

“Ok, Pame.. Just so you don’t get him first!” I laughed.

Luiz held my hand under the table as everyone talked in their broken English and shared stories about America and Portugal. I felt like I was in high school. Soon, everyone left and so did Pame. She looked upset because Jose was gone and she would have to spend the night by herself. It didn’t help that I was with Luiz now.

Our first sex wasn’t incredible. To tell the truth, it wasn’t even good. He was nervous. We were both awkward. It was in an empty room in the cabin, but instead of regular beds, there were bunk beds.. so at one point I hit my head on the bottom of the other bed. And he came too early. As he lay near me I could feel his dissapointment.

“You hated that, yes?” he finally said, his voice like a little boy’s.

“I didn’t hate that!” I said, half lying. I didn’t hate it, because it was with him. I liked him. The sex? I wasn’t so certain.

“You are lying” he concluded and crossed his arms like a stubborn child. I found this ridiculously endearing and kissed him.

“You know” He added.  “I would like to take you out. We could listen to some piano or go to a restaurant. I wish we don’t go tomorrow.”

“I wish we didn’t go tomorrow as well” I sighed.

“I really like you, you know?” He turned to me. “I am not saying it because I had sex. It’s more for me. I do not want us to forget each, Mia”

“We won’t forget each other. I like you too” I said.

“Good. Because I really like spending, time with you. I never pay attention to girls, unless they have something special. When you started to talk I didn’t.. could not stop listening to you.”

“You mean when I babbled on and on?”

“When you what?” he turned to me, his big eyes confused.

“Nevermind. When I talked a lot, I mean”

“Yes, you talked a lot. But I liked” he smiled. “Can I ask you one question?”

I nodded.

“Can I spend night with you? It’s cold in tent and I like having you near.”

Not us, but how it felt

Not us, but how it felt

“Of course!” I exclaimed. The bed was narrow and I was stuck to the wall. We would have to sleep in an embrace the whole night, but I wanted to sleep close to him. He felt so dear to me in such a quick time. A boy who was beautiful and who looked like a player, but who had such a great and pure heart. I didn’t want to leave him. I breathed in his scent and felt his warm breath against me as I dozed off.

I dreamed of him that night. I would wake up and look at his perfect face and feel both happy and sad. Happy because he was just so damn beautiful and I had him near me. Sad because, well, I wouldn’t have him near me for much longer. He lay there, dark against the white of the pillow. I wanted to take a picture of him. Not to be creepy, or anything. I felt pretty proud of myself as well, I must say. Inwardly, I gave myself a round of applause.

The next morning was difficult and awkward. We kissed each other goodbye and he left. He came in again when I was talking to Pamela. I felt his scent even before seeing him.

“I wanted to say bye to both of you again” he awkwardly shuffled in the doorway.

I was awkward also, mostly because I looked ghastly without any makeup, my hair all disheveled and I didn’t want him to remember me like that. I kissed him goodbye and that was that.

Pame and I took a ferry to Croatia, where we stayed on the coast. It was an incredible place only made miserable by the fact that I missed him so much. I added him to Facebook, but he never wrote me an email. Instead I would skim through Dominick’s letters, annoyed that it was him and not Luiz who emailed me. There was an island we went to, called Hvar, full of beautiful tanned people. I kissed a Spanish guy, rather got licked by him, to better describe it. Apart from that, I once again missed my Luiz. He wasn’t just beautiful, he had a good heart. Most of these guys were arrogant, shallow assholes. And they weren’t anywhere as gorgeous as him.

Hvar Island

Finally, Luiz began writing to me and we established contact. I laughed and made annoying ‘aww’  noises as I read his hilarious emails. He was just so adorable! I was probably the most irritating person to be around made only tolerable by the fact that Pamela really liked Luiz.

When I was in Budapest, I was on the computer one day and started to talk to him. Our conversation centered on how much we wanted to see each other until I suggested he visit me at my last stop – Berlin. He invited me to Portugal first, however, as much as I wanted to I coudn’t risk being exposed and hurting Dominick.

Please, please come to Berlin! I really want to see you! I begged, thinking he was going to say no. He had to start work after all.

He got back to me that night. Yes, he would come.

But I love you (2012)

A hilarious story of being chased down by an Italian guy in the middle of the night as he professed his love for me. Ah, Italian men.  It is a must try speciality on your next trip to Italy, followed by an aperitivo and tartuffo gelato.

Having heard amazing things about Sorrento, located in the Amalfi Coast of Italy, from my friend who met a beautiful Italian and had sex with him on a beach (followed by no more romance, clearly) I was interested to see what this place would be like. It is swamped by men, narrated my friend, her eyes lit up. You have to go there!

Amalfi-Coast

beautiful Amalfi coast

She was right about one thing, it was filled with beautiful men. Bronzed, toned and practically smelling of scooters and sex, they were everywhere. I even made it a game for myself to see how many guys I could consider sleeping with. The list made it pretty far before I gave up counting and considered myself a slut.

That night though, I didn’t meet anyone and was tired of sitting in touristy bars, scoping out guys, so I followed the girls from my hostel home.

Suddenly, I heard someone speaking in Italian behind me. I turned around. There was this pretty blond boy with light blue eyes and sculpted lips, a helmet in his hands, following me.

Baciami!” He pointed at his cheek, clearly wanting me to kiss him.

Vaffanculo!”  I gestured, happy I got a chance to use one of my favorite and perfected Italian phrases. Learning Italian has finally paid off.small-vaffanculo

The boy seemed to get the hint somewhat and disappeared. Minutes later, however, he reappeared right behind me.

Catso!” I exclaimed with my swear number two, though a part of me was strangely flattered. He was quite beautiful. Tall, tanned, sporting a light pink polo shirt and jeans. I knew there was only one reason he must have followed me this far and it wasn’t because he wanted to get to know me.

“What is your name?” he asked, coming up.

“What is yours?” I asked.

“I am Gabrielle”

“Mia”

“I can walk with you, Mia?” It wasn’t really a question. Rather a matter of fact.

“You look like you are too young for me” I told him, looking him over. He looked to be about twenty-three.

“I am not too young” he said.

“Just how young are you?” I pressed, not really wanting to know anyways. It was clear he was too young.

“I am twenty-one” he said. “Actually, I joke. I am twenty-four. Does it matter?”

“Yes, I am twenty-seven. You are too young either way.” I said and continued walking.

He ran up to me and grabbed my hand. “Come with me.” The girls continued walking in front of us.

“I am not going anywhere with you.” I said, trying to break my hand free. At the same time, a little intrigued and curious as usual, I thought why not? I might have a chance to write about him later in my blog.

Suddenly, he took my face and turned it to his. He kissed me so quickly, I didn’t even have a chance to react. But once he did kiss me, I pushed him away. “What are you doing?”

“ I like you” He said. “You are very beautiful.”

“You do not even know me!” I exclaimed with a half laugh. “What is my name?”

“Uh.. Maria?”

“There you go. You don’t even know my name. How can you ‘like me’?”

“Mia. Your name Mia. I remember names.” He smiled impishly.

I sighed. “Ok, nice to meet you. Now I’m going to go.”

“Where you go? I go with you.”

“You are not going to my hotel. My friends are waiting for me.” I pointed at the bored Australian girls who were standing a few meters away, talking and looking back every so often.

“It’s ok” he said. “Come!” he led me to a side street. I tried fighting him off, but it was quite useless. Probably because I didn’t really fight him off, rather pretended to.

Un baccio per favore!

Un baccio per favore!

There, in that side street, he took my face in his hands and began kissing me again, eagerly.

“Why you are not relaxed?” he asked. “Try to relax when I kiss you.”

“I am not relaxed, because I don’t want to kiss you!” I said. This was incredible – now I wasn’t relaxed when kissing him. The guy that literally forced himself on me.

“I help you find your hotel” He said.

“No”

“Si, we go together.” He stated as if I had no other choice. “I know everything in Sorrento.”

“You are not helping me find my hotel. I don’t even know you.”

“You do. I am Gabrielle. You are Mia”

I sighed loudly, exasperated. “My friends are waiting for me!”

“Is ok. They know where the hotel is, yes?”

Giving up and also finding this quite hilarious, I followed his lead. We walked around the dark streets speaking a mixture of bad English on his part and bad Italian on my part. Every so often, he would stop and say “Uf, I need a break.” Then he would press me to him and begin kissing me. At first I kept on pushing him away, but as the kissing continued, I finally gave in and began to enjoy myself a bit. He was a kid but a very beautiful and Italian kid and what better way to enjoy Italy then through a genuine Italian experience?

Just like that

Just like that

Finally, through all the walking and getting lost, my relationship with Gabrielle escalated so much and so rapidly that he looked into my eyes after kissing me and said the three words every girl wants to hear.

Ti amo

I burst out laughing. “You do not love me! What is it with you Italian men?”

“But I do. I love you.”

“You don’t know me!I just met you twenty minutes ago. You don’t even know what I do!”

“What do you do, Mia?”

“I am a teacher. And you?”

“I am studying to be chiropractor.” He answered. Having gotten that out of the way he pulled me into him again. “Kiss me”

There it was. Our first real relationship talk. Now we knew each other inside and out.

The next time we got lost, I figured he must be doing this on purpose.

“You better help me find the hotel.”

“Why are you in hurry?” He asked.

“I am tired, that’s why.”

“Why you are tired. Is early.”

“It is 4 am.”

“Early! Kiss me!” he pressed his eager lips into mine.

I sighed. There was no way out of this. He pressed me towards the fence and kissed me. He also pressed his erection towards my pelvis and I figured this time he wanted more than kissing. I guessed I was right when I heard unzipping.

This is when I squirmed out of his passionate embrace and practically ran down the hill. He ran after me.

“Mia, I am sorry.  Mia, wait!”

“I am not having sex with you.”

“No sex, just kissing. I love you.”

“Stop saying you love me already!” I exclaimed. He was being ridiculous. “All you Italian men are the same.”

“I am good boy. What are you saying?” He smiled impishly.

We walked around for a few more  minutes, until finally I located the road my hotel was on and skipped towards it happily with him following behind grouchily.

Entrance to the hotel

Knowing this was it, the end of our quick romance, he pressed me towards yet another fence and once again, I felt his hardness on me.

“Gabrielle” I said, once I finally had a chance to breathe. “ I am not having sex with you.”

“But you are twenty-seven. You are virgin?” he cocked his head to the side, genuinely confused.

“That’s not your business. But either way, I don’t go to Italy to have sex with all Italian boys” I exclaimed.

“But I love you.” He continued.

Exasperated I broke out of his embrace and walked towards the hotel. “Goodnight Gabrielle!”

Standing there, dejected he looked towards me as I walked through the door. “Ciao

And the strange thing is, he must have loved me so much, his heart probably broke from sadness, because I never saw him again.2

Men in Rome (2012)

I’m going to Italy in two weeks and have decided to try CouchSurfing in Rome. For those of you who don’t know what CS is: basically you stay for free at someone’s house and they even take the time to show you around. The idea seems very strange to some people, but no, you do not have to host that person afterwards, and yes, it is safe. However, if a girl decides to stay over at a guy’s place, well, she should know what she might possibly be getting into. Even though, unless she wants to, technically sex is out of the question.

I’ve only done CS once, where I stayed with a guy but there is no way I would stay at a guy’s place in Rome. Really, that’s just asking for it! The thing is that while Italian men eagerly participate in CouchSurfing community, I think they have a pretty different notion of what it is supposed to be. “Oh, I heard. Is free dating website? Yes? But is better, because she is foreigner (meaning easy!), she stay at your house and then you never see her. I like very much. I sign up.”  Though he might try to make it romantic and show you Piazza Navona or the Coliseum before he gets down to ‘seducing you’.

Anyways, I posted my request to the only girl I could find in the whole city. She never replied. Instead, what I received were countless (over seventy! I’m not kidding) messages from men aged 18-50 providing me with multiple services and tours, all of which, I assume revolve around the bedroom/bathroom area.

itals1

Here are my chosen favorites:

Ciao Mia,

I saw your profile in CS and i’ve been fascinated by you, your body and your head.

If you are not able to find out something good for sleeping, don’t be shy and call me. If otherwise you succeed in finding out a good place to stay, call me to have a drink. I can show you some part of Rome out-of-commercial.

CiaO! Antonio

I didn’t know I had a fascinating head!

Ciao Mia, I Read your couch request, and you’re an interesting girl! as long as you like partying, talking and share experiences you’re more than welcome 🙂 about me, I have a clothes shop in the center of rome, so i know my city quite well so, i think I have a couch for you, i just have to check if my family is going to be in Rome, if not my house is your house!
Ciao, Marco
Ok, the clothing shop was a little difficult to pass up I must admit.
Hello I would like to  host you in my little house, after the fishing and cooking, the theater and ‘my favorite hobby ..
Which is…? Seriously, what is it?
Ciao Mia!
Welcome to ROME….welcome to eternal city…ROMA….!!!In any case if you need you need advice or a guide for visit the City (magic place), or to eat an ice cream special, or make a good aperitif-dinner, or eat the original Neapolitan pizza, or a night out for dancing(salsa, bachata, tango argentino, samba, lindy hop, disco music) or a drink, i’m available to accompany you and show you the city (Special places no tourist)….or anything else you should need not hesitate to call me …!! 🙂 Christiano
Only Italians can suggest such a grand tour. An American would probably go with   ‘and then we’ll hang out or grab some beer’
One Italian guy’s interest was actually sex. But at least he’s honest about it.
The point is, Italian men really know how to seduce a woman with wine, sightseeing, CiaoBella_PinotGrigioscooters and clothing.. too bad this only lasts until the first night!