Dolce Vita Bloggers October Linkup
For the month of October, the Dolce Vita Bloggers write about “Travels Gone Hilariously Wrong”. Click here if you would like to contribute your post to the linkup! We all know even the best of travel plans can (and do) go awry. Tell us about your travels gone wrong (even if it’s only hilarious in hindsight).
A Day Trip To Castellina in Chianti
Summer of 2018 was the time I went on a solo trip to Castellina in Chianti. As a mother of two boys under three, I rarely get a chance to travel by myself. So I left my “three boys” in Siena to enjoy a quiet moment by myself in wine-famous Chianti hills.
I took a bus from Siena to Castellina in Chianti, and I sat directly behind the bus driver because I wanted to make sure that he drops me off in the city center. Based on my limited experience of commuting in Italy, you have to inform the driver where you want to be dropped off just to make sure that he does not bypass that stop.
I always get a bit nervous every time I attempt to communicate in Italian.
“Signorino? Can you drop me off at the tourist center of the Castellina in Chianti please?”
Just then, a “lolong makulit” ( talkative grandpa) said in Italian, “Are you Chinese?”
“No, signore. I am from the Philippines.”
“Ah! Philippines! You are like a little rabbit! Can you be my girlfriend?”
“I am already married with children, signore.”
“No, I mean I want to be your friend!”
Now I was pretty damn sure I heard “fidanzata” (girlfriend) instead of “amica” but I decided to let it go. After all, I was set on having a perfect day.
As a Filipina, I was raised to give respect to elderly people so I did not give him the stink eye as I normally would when I am given unwanted attention.
“I am sorry, I don’t speak Italian very well.” (Please stop talking to me.)
“I will teach you Italian!”
“Thank you.” (I have no idea why I said that. I am such a people-pleaser.)
Thankfully, the bus driver said that this was my stop. So I hurriedly thanked him and got off the bus, ready to start my perfect day. I will pretend that this incident never happened…
Lolong Makulit Part Two
Lolong Makulit was right behind me. Oh no.
“I want to be your friend! I will show you around Castellina in Chianti!”
(Oh no, you are NOT.)
“No grazie, signore. Arrivederci!” (And for some weird reason, I gave him an”Asian bow”… a sign of respect? I don’t know. I do weird things when I am in an uncomfortable situation.)
Lolong Makulit was still walking next to me. Now he was greeting everyone on the streets, telling them that I am his friend.
“Is she your girlfriend?” asked one of the neighborhood vendors.
Now that really got me. I said, “NO!”
My heart was racing and I was sweating all over. I had no words to express how I feel (literally), so I took out my cell phone and hit “Google Translate”.
“Please go away. I want my personal space!”
Then I shouted out loud in Google Translated Italian: “Go away! I want my personal space!”
(I am not even sure if “personal space” can be translated in Italian…but I think I got my message across.)
“Leave her alone,” said one of the market vendors to Lolong Makulit.
“Yes, leave her alone,” said one of the ladies buying fruit from the market.
And so Lolong Makulit left me, looking dejected.
Arrivederci, Lolong Makulit
Yes, now I can reclaim my day! So I finally moved on from that horrible experience. I breathed deeply, let go of the negative vibes, and embraced the beauty and charm of one of Tuscany’s most beautiful towns…Castellina in Chianti.
If you want to read what happened to my perfect day in Castellina in Chianti, please read my guest post on Mohamad Al Karbi’s blog.
Have you had any travel mishaps? Leave a comment please!