Last year on my summer vacation to Italy it started out as a very odd trip. The story I am about to tell you, is slightly disturbing, however does have some underlying humor.
Last year the family ventured off to Italy for what we thought would an uneventful family vacation. Boy were we wrong! On the first day of the vacation my Dad asked me if I wanted to go along to get the parking sticker with him, since we had no food in the house we could get some breakfast. I went along for the walk and it was like 95 hazy, hot and humid. The parking building was about an 6×8 room with no air. I stayed with my Dad for about 5 minutes and then told him that it was too hot and that I had to go sit outside on the steps and wait for him. There were 2 guys in front of him so I figured it would not take that long.
One of the guys game out he was an older man (in his 80’s). He starting talking to me in Italian so I figured he knew my Dad and it would be rude for me not to talk to him. He asked me questions like: Why are you in Italy? Why don’t you come live here with me? I just thought he was being silly and of course answered all his questions. For those that know about my Italian, you know that I can speak and understand dialect and I understand some proper Italian, however you have to speak slowly and most of the time I am missing a few words. So this guy sits on the stairs next to me and of course I still think he is my Dad’s friend and is waiting for him to catch up! He holds my hand and tells me I am pretty and asked me if I wanted to take a walk with him. I politely decline and say I am waiting for my Dad. The man then proceeds to tap the top of my chest under my neck (which in Italy) everyone does this, so I still don’t think anything of it.
This is where things get weird. I am still talking to this guy and he brushes across my breast and I say “no you can’t do that stop. Again I think this is a family friend or someone my Dad knows so I am trying to not slug the guy. We start talking again and he holds my hand and pulls my hand to go towards his private parts and that is when I finally get it! I told him don’t do that and I hit his hand! I got up from the stairs and went to go get my Dad. I explained to my Dad what happened and said is this your friend? My father tells me no he is some crazy old guy and he knows who he is. My father of course wants to find him and beat him up! I told my Dad I am fine, just a little shaken up at the dirty old man so please don’t start any trouble. I was more concerned for little children to beware of Mr. Pervert, however this 35 year old women at the time (me) should have been smarter! So we finally leave the parking registry and head home. I called my mother from the balcony and said guess what Ma, day 1 of vacation and I was Groped In Gaeta. I told her the whole story and she was laughing at first but then after she thought about it she was enraged.
I got over it but through the vacation we would talk about this crazy man and how I was “Groped in Gaeta”. After the initial shock and horror of this, I kept making jokes about it. But I will never forgot this man’s face. We saw him a few times around town and each time we saw him, my Dad wanted to punch the guy in the face.
The humor here was definitely from me, because all along I was talking to this fool and he was just an old pervert and of course I thought he was a friend of the family!
The moral of this story is a few things: 1. if you are not completely bilingual try to only communicate with who you know! 2. dirty old men are dirty old men and should not be touching anyone in any culture!