Monday, October 06, 2008

Late Night Italian Lessons

On Saturday night, I was at an impromptu bratwurst taste-test. Guess who showed up late? Mr. Hatandcoat! We ordered pizza after he arrived. After the pizza was eaten, people started to get "a little dizzy," and it was time to head home.

On my way out, Mr. Hatandcoat expressed his hope that I encounter something interesting on the Metro so I could blog about it. I said I hoped so, too. I unlocked my bike and rode to Rosslyn.

On the long elevator down to the platform at Rosslyn, I noticed for the first time that you can look out the side of the glass elevator and watch the people on the escalator. I looked through and watched a bunch of unsteady girls and a couple guys make their descent.

I got out of the elevator and walked my bike to the platform. I see a flash on the ceiling. I looked back and saw one of the unsteady girls with her camera out.

I was wearing my uber-dorky reflective vest (of the kind that construction workers and Metro employees wear) and an old hoodie. I did not look like the quintessence of style. So I was pretty self-conscious about my picture being taken. I was, until I realized that the girls were not speaking English and were taking pictures of everything. They took about 10 pictures in the five minutes we were waiting for the train.

When we got on the train, I stood with my bike in the door area (nowhere else to go) and the girls took the seats opposite me. Did I mention they were good-looking? I was guessing they were Italian. I've always liked Italian girls.

Then one of them asked me "Can I take a picture with?" I said sure. She posed with me and my bike. Then another one, the tallest and most leg-showing, got up and posed against me as well. I took the opportunity to ask where they were from, and, sure enough, they all said "Italy." The one with the legs asked me "Are you studying?" I said, "Yes. Japanese." They weren't really interested in that.

We ended up transferring at Metro Center together, too. The girls and their two guys had grouped together along the wall, and I stood waiting at the edge of the platform. I kept thinking, hm, how do I make conversation? I finally settled on showing interest in their language.

I went over to Legs and asked "Can you teach me some Italian?"

She said, "Yes. ...maybe."

I said, "What's 'hello'? I know goodbye is 'ciao'..."

"Hello is 'ciao.' It's also means goodbye. You say it at the beginning, and at the end."



I started to say something else, but then the train was coming, so I said, "Oh, the train is coming. What's 'train' in Italian?"

Legs looked confused and said, "I don't know, what's 'traing'?"

I pointed at the train coming. Legs said "Oh, train" and went over to gather her unsteady flock. We boarded the train together but didn't have much else to say. When they got out at New York Avenue, Legs smiled sweetly at me and said "Byeee."

I said, "Ciao."

She said "Ciao," and so did the rest of them.

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