Monday 8 December 2008

Traveling... Italian style - part 1

You're probably already wondering how exactly is the Italian style when it comes to traveling, but no worries, you will understand quickly, you'll see.

Since I had no time to post here since September, I will just tell you about my two last trips one post after another. They are connected somehow, so I just hope that in the end they're gonna show exactly what I've been through.

You see, I've probably mentioned before that I am working with an Italian company and the team that is here in Bucharest is totally adorable, despite the fact that nowadays most Italians are looking for one reason only for Romanians: easy lay.

I enjoy their company a lot because each individual is different than the other and each one is funny in their own way.

Let's take Mr. C, for example. He's the nicest man on the face of the Earth. So kind, always speaking with nice words. Everybody loves him! Believe me, I heard statements. I have a feeling he's a lot more than he says he is... Really, I believe he's Santa in disguise. Moreover, he's a blessing because he is replacing another expert who would've made my life unbearable. I love exchanging long e-mails with him and trying to change his optimistic thinking about Romania. We're always in a contest on who writes the longest e-mail. I think I beat him a few times... ;)

Mr. L is the Team Leader. Always very serious and sometimes with strong different opinions than my own. In the end, what matter is the result and I think we're still friends, so it's good. To tell you the truth, debating is not so bad after all, it might teach you a few things more. But I would really love to win sometimes too!!!! :) Someone told me though that he had nice things to say about me, so I think that evens a bit the situation...

Mr. P... :-D When I first met him, I was a bit amused. He tried to seem very serious and mixed with the fact that he was the deputy team leader, it had on me the effect that a mirth-provoking gas has on people... In the meantime, we got to know each other better and, although he's looking like this flirty not-so-serious guy, he's exactly the opposite. He's a very good-souled man, very smart and professional. I hate the fact that he doesn't read all my e-mails and that he sometimes doesn't reply when I need an answer. But, apart from that, he's great. I'm suuuuure he did a lot of naughty-naughty things when he was "young", as he says, but who cares! We all do at a certain point, right? ;)

Mr. R! I will try to refrain from laying down all the things that pass through my mind concerning this man, although it's difficult! Haha! I will just say that he is maybe the most beautiful man I've ever met face to face in my life. I'm serious! I'm not saying this in a type of being-on-a-cloud-and-dreaming way! No, no, no! He is officially recognised as beautiful, even by some men I gossiped with about his looks. :-D He has gorgeous green eyes, with perfect long black eye-lashes. When he smiles (see the pic), his whole face lightens and your day really gets better. Great hands! Nice way of dressing! He looks impeccable. If my spy reads this (Hello Ms. P! ;) ), she might disagree a little, but this is my opinion and I'm entitled to have it. :P

Anyway, now that the characters are introduced and the Italian style is explained, I will move on to the traveling part.

It was in the beginning of November that Mr. C invited me to go along with them to Cluj to see the football game that CFR Cluj was going to have against AS Roma for the UEFA Champions League. At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to go, especially because I wasn't in my best mood ever and I was very tired. But, as Mr. C put it, we work, work, work, but sometimes we need to have some fun too! Therefore, after asking Vlad's permission to skip work for 2 days, I replied that I was going to join them.

I was supposed to go with Mr. C, Mr. P, Mr. R and another guy I didn't know very well, let's call him Mr. C.A. All said and done, on 26 November we were meeting at their office to start our trip. Unfortunately, Mr. C, on whose presence I was counting because he's the only normal one of them all, had to urgently return home for some family issues. Therefore, here I was, stuck in a shit-ugly car, with three crazy Italian men, all talking in the same time. I was told from the beginning by Mr. P that we were just going to have to talk in Italian the whole two days we were going to be together. The bad part for me was that I didn't really speak Italian... The bad part for them was that I understood Italian. I chose not to join the conversations about women, cars and football, because I am not very good with these subjects, so I just listened to my mp3 player.

The closer we were getting to Cluj, the more the three men were becoming kids. I think it's a process that all men go through when a football game is about to start... Ahem! So I was pretty quiet that day, something that rarely happens to me. I let them be... Only that on some moments I really wished Mr. C was with us because I felt lonely and ignored. Nevermind, a smile was still plastered on my face and I kept on being amiable each time they needed my help.

The game itself was great! And I was surprised to see that I had been right about the score. Let me explain... In the morning, before leaving, my dad had asked me about how many Italians and Romanians were going to Cluj. I replied: as the score will be tonight, 4 Italians and 1 Romanian. Since Mr. C didn't come, we were left 3 to 1. You maybe know that the score was 1-3 in favour of Roma.

We had very good seats and with the new lens I bought for my camera I managed to take some close-ups of the players. Too bad I'm an idiot, state that combined with the fact that I was completely frozen, made me not realise how wrong the settings were until the next evening!

The seats were good, but in the middle of Cluj's supporters... which made it a bit difficult for my guys to show their happiness while goals were scored. They chose to exult in silence and this meant a few bruises for me... For Roma's first goal, I got my right leg squeezed, for the second, I got my right leg hit with fists and a quiet yell in my ear "Francesco Tottiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii". I don't remember what happened after the third... I was probably passed out from the cold. Yeah, it was incredibly cold! I was made fun of when I appeared in the hotel lobby wearing a hat, a muffler and gloves, but then, they slowly started to take out their hats too. Apart from Curly, I mean Mr. R, who suffered in silence.

I liked the game and I'm glad I went to see it. I learned a lesson: for the next one (Steaua vs. Fiorentina in 2 days), wear a lot of warm clothes!

After the game, we walked a little until we found some pub/pizzeria/restaurant because the guys wanted to grab something to eat. In the meantime, the clock stroke midnight and it meant that it was Curly's birthday. Damn, Mr. R's, I mean! :P He argued that he had one hour still because in Italy it was only 11 p.m. Fair enough, I said, but when it got to be 1 a.m. in Cluj, he had to face the fact that he was older. :) I took his first pic at the age of 32. He's never too photogenic which is damaging his real good looks, unfortunately.

We made plans to leave early to Bucharest the next day, so at 8 a.m. we were supposed to have breakfast and by 9 a.m., the latest, to be in the car. Need I say that it didn't really happen like that? Men, yes...

At 7.45 a.m. I was paying for my room, then went upstairs to pick up the birthday boy's present. I went to have breakfast and to wait for the rest. At 8.30 a.m., Mr. C.A. was making a sleepy entrance, saying hello and looking curiously at the present...

Mr. C.A.: "What is that?"

Me: "A present...?"

Mr. C.A.: "For you?"

Me: "No, FROM me."

Mr. C.A.: "Where did you get it from? Did you buy it here?"

Me (thinking): "Yes, after we came back to the hotel at 2 a.m., I sneaked out to a non-stop shop to buy it!"

Me (replying for real): "No, from Bucharest...", an answer that seemed to have satisfied him.

He drank two horrid coffees and went back to his room.

At 8.45 a.m., an even sleepier (but oh, so lovely!) birthday boy was getting inside the restaurant, collar up and all.

Mr. R: "Ciao Livia!"

Me: "Hello!" I pushed the present towards him and said: "Happy Birthday once again!"

Mr. R: "What is that?"

Me: "What does it look like? A present..." and I continued in my mind: "Duh!"

He thanked me for it and I got two kisses on my cheeks. He opened it smiling (the best!) and when he saw what was in inside... Oh man, I'm so sorry I cannot describe the scene with words... It was a "shoulda been dere" situation! The conclusion was that I got two more kisses. On my cheeks! :P

Mr. P managed to enchant us all with his ruffled presence around 8.50 a.m. Swore because there was no more coffee left, grabbed something to eat and sulked into the food at another table. Grumpy man!

We managed to leave at 9.30 a.m., so not so much later than planned, right? The trip back to Bucharest proved to be very exciting in the end. Mr. P found out that his wife, who was supposed to give birth on 1 December, was going to give birth that day. This involved a lot of yelling and threats to the Alitalia Romanian Agency to have a flight change and speeding towards the airport, combined with laughter and yelling when I mentioned that his baby was going to be born on Mr. R's birthday. Moreover, the excitement grew 98 km away from Bucharest, when Mr. R decided that he had lived enough, it was time to go to sleep while driving on the motorway. Thank God nothing happened! Mr. P took over just to nearly teleport us at the speed of 180 km/h, talking on the phone and setting the navigator... The important thing is that we got to the airport safely and in time for Mr. P and Mr. C.A. to catch their flight.

I was left with Curls and he drove me home. It was for the first time I liked the impossible traffic of Bucharest coz it gave us (or me) the opportunity to talk a little. I had missed that. Last time we REALLY talked was in July when we went to B'estfest. Maybe we'll have more chances to TALK. I know I hope so...

So this is where my trip to Cluj has ended. I will upload some photos and continue with part 2 tomorrow, if I have time. It's already late and I'm too sleepy to concentrate.

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