There is a pizzeria near the school that is very popular for lunch. One of the waiters there, Dario, is quite good looking. Personally, he is not my type but apparently he has intrigued Linda.
Prior to my arrival in Siena, the story goes that one afternoon several of my classmates were at the pizzeria and Linda kept asking Dario how to say this and that and correct her Italian, etc. At the end of the lunch he handed her one of the pizzeria’s card with his name and phone number on it. She has proudly flaunted this card in front of me.
The rest of the story, however, seems to be that contact was made in which Dario explained that he was available for conversation for €30 ($45) per hour!
Dario is not a young guy, I’d say in the early-mid 40 range, but who knows if he is married or involved or what his deal is at all. Jennie told me she saw him in town one day with a very attractive young woman. Linda, however, seems to approach things as if all Italian men are available. Indeed, it might be true that the majority are, but Linda seems to think that if they give you their phone number that it means they are not otherwise committed. I am not sure what she thinks “conversation” may entail.
I have been told that she was quite offended when he slapped a price tag on their “relationship”.
In Dario’s defense, his job at the restaurant is to wait on clients, not be a translator / language instructor. Italy is not cheap, either, so if Dario can figure out a way to swing a euro or two (or 30), more power to him. As mentioned before, the Italians seem to be good at figuring out how to make a little money here and there; and it all adds up. Worst case for Dario is that the offer is declined.
Yesterday Linda asked a young English girl from the school if she would like to go to lunch and asked me if I would come along. I had met Katherine at a wine tasting class last week and subsequently introduced her to Linda.
We decided to go to the pizzeria but were told that no tables would be available for at least 20 minutes despite the fact that there were several empty. So, we went for a drink and Linda gave Katherine the Dario story.
When we returned to the restaurant we were given a terrible table in the sun even though the same tables from earlier were still empty. It didn’t make any sense. Linda humphed off to square the situation up with Dario. He acted like her never saw her before. I encouraged her to leave and he still never said a word.
I’m not sure what Linda thought Dario’s motives could ever have been but after laying out the cost of doing business it seems pretty obvious that he wasn’t looking for a long term meaningful relationship with walks on the beach, etc.
BTW, below is the translation of “gigolo”, i.e. it is an Italian word. It’s in my dictionario, surely it is in hers!