The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Roma in a day.

Okay, I realize I am blogging this trip a little ass-backwards right now but bear with me. Sometimes, a girl has a crazy dinner experience and on her way (running) home to the hotel she happens upon a internet shop.

I asked the front desk girl at my hotel for a restaurant recommendation. She made a call then sent me to a ristorante a few blocks away. She said Mario would be waiting and he reserved me a table with the best meal I will ever have. Fabulous. She actually was not lying. The food was pretty amazing. Although I never did find Mario, my old Italian man waiter was a trip. He was energetic and nice and spoke English to me. I was surrounded by two other tables, both Americans. I chatted it up with the Americans and had a great experience overall. Until the end.

So my meal is wrapped up and I am ready to head out. Italian waiter man brings me the check, leans in and says "tip is not included. cash please." Hmmmm. American couple to my left says "We think tip is already included and he is trying to pocket some money." American family on the other side says "um, why did he pinch your cheek?" So all of the American tables have a discussion on whether or not I should leave waiter man extra tip. I decide to go ahead and give him a decent tip. He was really nice and easy to speak with. I handed it to him and headed inside to the bathroom.

As I am in the bathroom, the lights go out. Damn sensors. I finish up and start jumping around so the lights will go back on. They come back on. I emerge from the stall to wash my hands. The bathroom door opens and here comes waiter man. "Oh, sorry, sorry!" My first thought is that I went into the wrong bathroom. Oh well, I am done now. But wait, he comes back in "I thank you for tip." He seems genuinely thankful (which of course leads me to believe I should not have tipped him.) I say "prego, prego" as he takes my (still wet) hands. He goes to kiss me on the cheek and I oblige then pull away and take my hands back. He says "I kiss you for tip." Ahhhh. I get it. That kiss on both cheeks thing the Italians do. People warned me about this. Although no one warned me which side to go to first which made for an awkward moment with my fourth cousin Gabriella, but that is a story for another time. Where was I? Si, he said he "kiss me for tip." Then, he grabbed my head and attempted to shove his tongue down my throat! All I remember after that is pushing him into a wall and screaming bloody murder while he repeated "I sorry. I sorry. No tell. I sorry"

Now, while kissing an Italian may or may not be on my list of things to do on this trip, I did not anticipate it would be my 55 year old waiter!