Catherine Townsend: Sleeping around

Share

When my friends and I booked a weekend in a fabulous flat in Italy, I had visions of a slightly dirtier version of Roman Holiday. But my quest for amore hit a few snags when I met Antonio, a gorgeous Italian who caught my eye while I was dancing on a banquette at 3am.

We stumbled outside and he mumbled something about building missiles for Nato. Actually, "I love to watch your hair blow in the breeze," was the most coherent English phrase he spoke all night. But he was hot and I'd had three limoncello shots, so I didn't resist when, after walking us home, he stepped inside my lobby and kissed me.

The language barrier didn't seem to matter once we were speaking in tongues, but I don't have the vocabulary to talk dirty in Italian, and in this case thought the fantasy would be better than the reality. When I politely said I was going upstairs alone he seemed a bit offended.

Working out later that his sweet nothingstranslated to: "There's a party in my pants and you're invited!" gave new meaning to the term "romance languages". I find it strange that none of my foreign phrase books explains dating etiquette. Forget asking directions to a museum - I need to know how to ask for a condom.

The confusion with Antonio reminded me of the time I tried to break up with my French ex-boyfriend: English-French dictionary poised in hand, I tried to translate "We've grown apart."

Instead of leaving in tears, he tried to seduce me. Exhausted, I told him it was my time of the month. He left and came back brandishing a stack of envelopes - which is how I figured out that the word "tampon" in French has something to do with a date stamp.

Anyway, at seven the next morning, Antonio texted to ask me out again and I thanked him for a lovely evening, but explained that I needed an early night before my flight home. In the next hour, I had four more texts, and six missed calls. "You can delete my number, because you were rude to refuse my invitation," he wrote. "If I were younger, I may have room for empty kindness, but I find your hypocrisy rather sad."

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by Antonio's aggressive behaviour. After all, the Italian Supreme Court ruled as recently as 2001 that a man fondling a woman's buttocks is not sexual harassment as long as the act was "not premeditated".

Rome is fabled to be one of the most romantic cities in the world, but I'm starting to think that living at home well into adulthood stunts the men's growth in more ways than one. I'll take the drunken pub lunges and shyness of British boys any day: at least they seem sincere.

As I boarded my flight, I texted Antonio a brief response that I hope is pretty clear in any language: "Finito".

c.townsend@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Science versus religion in the three-parent baby debate

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Kylie has helped to boost viewing figures for the talent show  

When an Aussie calls you a ‘bastard’, you know you’ve arrived

Howard Jacobson
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee