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Had we but world enough and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day.
(To His Coy Mistress Andrew Marvell)
In my time living in the Eternal City I'd always marvelled at the pursuit of women by many Italian men. I'd seen at first hand how a combination of bronze chiselled features, lyrical sounding dialogue and charm could send many females into a heady irresistible spin. 'The women who come to Rome go crazy', said an elder Roman male acquaintance no stranger himself to the ciao bella fraternity and who had probably not heard about of the goings on in Magaluf.
I suppose it's one of the main advantages of living in a big city, where, when you think about it, that the world seems potentially full of dalliances of some sort or short/long and meaningful connections and even love. Carpe diem is a concept that many Italian men seem to have in their extroverted part of their DNA.
Whether it's young dudes coaxing new arrivals and young students at the Trevi fountain with offers of a personal guide to the city to older gentleman parroting lines at all shapes and guises, it's not for want of trying or inaction that hinder for a chance of a day or a lifetime in female company.
Seeing as much of the male species, rather like blackbirds, is devoted to seeking out bright and shiny things, Italian men's obvious attentions can be to the point and sometimes hard to get away from.
Any singleton lady feeling a little under appreciated should need only to spend a week in Rome and come back floating with a reinvigorated feeling of desirability again. A dear old friend from Rome told me how 'Italian men can make you feel amazing like no one else or anything else mattered in the universe but then go and sleep with your best friend'.
I personally feel the need to qualify this statement, and not wanting to pander to stereotypes of gross generalisations by saying, that in my time in Rome I also had the pleasure of meeting numerous Italian guys who were the personification of old gentlemanly or even chivalrous values if that's not too an outdated concept in an age when ad people and the media prefer us to be a little bad, I mean Imagine a world a la John Lennon where we all tried to be nice?
But there was one occasion above all which I remember from my time in Rome that superbly highlighted an opportunist skills of the highest order pointed out to me in observation skills worthy of a veteran wildlife analyst.
It was a warm, still, sunny day where any movement outside the remits of languid was only for the hyperactive and the restless.
Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere was full of early evening gatherings of groups, chattering, laughing and gesticulating sometimes in that unmistakable Italian way.
My Italian friend pointed out a young guy with hands in his pockets, scuffing the ground with his foot, gently kicking imaginary stones, looking at the time that he did not have a care or purpose in the world other to enjoy the warm sun on his back. "Watch him chat to that girl, " said my friend pointing to a pretty girl sitting alone on a bench reading a book at the other end of the piazza which must have been at least 500 yards away. I laughed incredulously at this suggestion thinking it a goofy gag inspired aided by the cheap red wine we were consuming.
But as I continued to watch the young man the ridiculous seeming nature of my friend's comment was starting to not seem so outlandish. "See, I told you, watch him, watch," said my friend getting a little excited.
Watching closely I could see the young guy not once look towards what my friend was reiterating was his obvious destination and target - the pretty girl sitting alone on a bench at the other side of piazza. 'Surely not,' I said thinking the guy was still at least 400 yards away and not even facing the right way.
But as we continued to observe it was like watching an elaborate choreographed set of movements. A yawn here, a stretch of arms there and then for the first time a just perceptible anxious momentarily glance towards the direction of the young girl.
'No fucking way,' I spurted still amazed at the possibility of my friend's outrageous call and pick out from a piazza full of activity. But the guy did seem to be definitely moving now in the direction of the girl and the opposite end of the piazza. But this was no straight beeline approach, it involved pauses, turns, pulling out something from his back pocket to glance at before returning to the same pocket. But in about five minutes low and behold the young guy was standing yards away from the girl stilling reading her book completely oblivious to his movements.
By now my friend was gloating with satisfaction at his powers of perception and I must admit I was now resounded to the fact that he could be right.
Moments later the young guy had finished his elaborate pretence of a leisurely wander around the piazza as he sat down next to the girl.
'How the fuck, could you tell that?' I said to my friend. 'I just knew,' he said. Suffice to say that the young man did end up turning around and chatting to the young girl, engaging in conversation, as I smiled and shook my head in disbelief.
Sav D'Souza is Editor-in-Chief of Just A Platform, an international cultural platform. www.justaplatform.com

Sav D'Souza United Kingdom


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