Are You Swedish?

In Italy, most days it’s impossible to just walk down the street in peace.


It seems like everyone I pass just has to ask me something, from the usual “Do you know what time it is?” to the more.. unique:

“Are you Swedish?”

Answer: No.



“Do you need a Tour guide?”

Answer: No (honest answer- YES, but seriously where will this tour even lead.)



“Can you teach me English?”  (Other forms: Can you teach my brother/mom/children/cat…)

Answer: Probably not.



“Do you want me teach you Italian?”

Answer: I mean, yeah but–NO. Are you even a teacher? Are you qualified? Is this your first time? Are we really just going to go out to dinner and end up mostly playing charades? In that case, why aren’t you just asking me on a date? (see next question.)



“Do you want me to show you secret spot in Rome?”

Answer: No response/Walk faster. Actually a terrifying proposition.



“Is that your natural hair color?”

(Answer: No! That’s why I’m in Italy. Just trying to get back to my roots….)

And finally,
my absolute favorite:
*LANGUAGE I DO NOT UNDERSTAND with enthusiastic hand gestures*
I’m SURE the old man who has watched me walking from a mile away and will continue to do so up until I’m out of sight is probably just saying something as innocent as “welcome to Italy, so happy to have you here. Have a lovely day.”
to be honest,
most days I’m just glad I don’t know.
Loving it here.
xxx hannah jane.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Brilliant. A few years ago I had a blond Italian girlfriend – whenever we’d go to Italy together, the local guys would always assume she was foreign and say things as we walked past in Italian, thinking that she wouldn’t understand!

    1. hannahjane21 says:

      that’s amazing! I can’t wait until I learn Italian and can give a witty comeback that they won’t see coming… So what did they say!?

      1. I can’t remember the specifics but it was often pretty direct and pervy – but also sometimes just very forward but flattering. She would sometimes turn around and give them a mouthful back in Italian – which always shocked them! It was pretty funny really.

  2. Good lesson here… don’t stereotype yes?

  3. Heh… reminds us of the story of a friend who was at a Roman café, and the waiter thought it would be cute to pinch her toe while she was ordering. We didn’t see this sort of behavior in Milano a few weeks back, but we’ll see how Roma is when we’re there to start of 2014. The question is, have you encountered (or observed) any random screaming matches? Those broke out all the time in Milano!

    1. hannahjane21 says:

      Pinch her toe? How does one even go about doing that… Oh my. Italians are wild. Screaming matches every day. I aspire to one day be able to have a screaming match in Italian — I’ll keep you posted.

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