Lost in Translation - The Creep and I
On a lazy Sunday afternoon I'm brimming with excitement after just arriving back in town from a 3 night stay in Germany. Breezing out of the train station under blue Tuscan skies, welcoming birds sing whilst I dream of embracing my 2 beautiful daughters who eagerly await my return at home in our idyllic mountain village.
My car is in the garage after last weeks accident, mountain buses are laughed out of the village on religious days, and I'm having no response what so ever from the only taxi firm that exists for miles. Many, many miles.
I no longer hear the birds in their song as I set off on my 4 mile hike up into the mountains in summer's 40 degree heat with suitcase in tow. Swearing like a trooper, foot-slogging against traffic at supersonic speeds, as paths are yet to be invented in this part of Italy. My watery eyes gaze upon the magnificent scenery that consoles me as I try to make sense and reason for my sudden misfortune.
Schlepping onwards and upwards overdosing on vitamin D under the sun's ultraviolet rays, muttering promises of selling up and moving to a town or city where its accommodating.
Voila!!! After 40minutes of lugging half a wardrobe I never needed, an odd yet kind perverted weirdo pulls up at the roadside and offers to take me to my village high up in the sky. How could I refuse I instantly convinced my weary sun-burnt self, gasping desperately, collapsing into his old Ford Fiesta. Wearing a smile of relief, he throws me a toothless one in return, capped with hungry eyes, and mine performs a back flip as I think to myself 'oooh shit!'
Clutching onto my phone while texting my friend "I'd be suffering a quicker but still painful journey home"; my new Italian lover starts the car and we continue up into the hills together.
Our conversation went something like this:
Creep: “How old are you?”
Me: “Touching 40”.
Creep: “You look 25”.
Obviously the sweat made me glow beautifully, I must wear it often.
Creep: “I'm 45”
He didn’t look a day over 60, still clutching my phone for protection as if in my hand I held a lightsaber.
Creep: “Where in the village do you live?”
Me: “I cant remember. I don’t understand. I want my mamaaaaaaam”.
Creep: “Women here want men with money so they can look after them”.
What he actually said: “Women at roadsides in Italy want men to pay them money”.
Me: “Really? In the UK we don’t need their money, we want them cos we love them. We work to make our money”.
Creep: “Have you got money?”
What he actually said: “Do you want money?”
Me: “Yes! Yes of course!”
Creep: “Do u understand what i'm saying?”
Me: “Yes” (not really cos I speak shitalian)
Creep: “Can I come to your home when we get to your village?”
Me: “No!!!!!” (I understood that!)
Creep: “No? Why?”
Me: “Err...err...because I don’t want you to”.
Creep: “I'm sorry you don’t want me”.
Me: [nervous laugh]
Silence fell upon us for what seemed forever as we continue our romantic journey, passing bubbling streams dotted with old mills, as we work our way up and around the valley.
Creep: “U must pay me”.
What he actually said: “I will pay you”.
Me: “Eh! How much?” I reluctantly asked, quite pist now he wants me to pay for the lift cos I refuse to take him home.
Creep: “I don’t know, you tell me? How much do you want?” Flinging both hands into the air as the car steers itself around the bend.
Me: “No, you tell me how much you want???”
Creep: “Maybe 15, 20, 30 euro perhaps?” Looking longingly into my eyes; I move mine alarmingly towards the winding road.
Me: “That's a bit steep, innit?”
Creep: “Well how much do you want?”
Me: “10 euro! Basta!” (enough!)
Eventually arriving at the comfort of my village I ensure he drops me off on the outskirts on the roadside. 3 old ladies bear witness to my safe return as they rest on an old wooden bench under the shade of the trees. He attempts to park the car while I endeavour to escape his company. Flinging the front door wide open, I bolt out to safety leaving it swinging on its hinges. The car halts. I exchange “ciao's” with the inquisitive local ladies, collect my suitcase from the back seat and with a sigh of relief I try to hand this odd-ball 10 euro as promised. Responding with excitement “No, I pay you to take me to your home”, I got that smile again. “Ahh oh, ohhhhh”, the light bulb flickers. The cheeky git, i'm worth far more than bloody 30 euro!!!! I kindly thank my potential punter for taking me to the village as there may never have been another creep on the road that day, thus one must remain grateful.
So at the end of an eventful trip, feeling sorry for myself purely cos I’m worth less than that of a one course meal in Florence, I soak myself in suds, enough to drown an ego whilst supping cool crispy local vino purchased with the 10 euros saved.
The phone rings, its the elusive taxi driver returning my 76 missed calls, he tells me he's now available to take me home. I told him to go loose himself in $%&£@^U£%!
Until the next saga.....
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- Susan Heslington