Friday, August 13, 2010

Some much-needed rest

So, I didn't really accomplish all that much today. After I finished writing my blog post at midmorning this morning, I realized that making it to Capri was probably not going to happen, and so I decided to spend a quiet day close to the hostel. I had one errand that needed running - I'll be going to a wedding as soon as a I get back (hi Jesse and Carla!), and all my dresses are in storage, so I thought it might be a good idea to try to buy a dress here in Italy. I asked Giovanni for advice on what areas of the city had lots of clothing shops (of course he knew the answer!) and then I set out.

I walked along the Via Toledo, window-shopping mostly, and not finding too much at first. I stepped into a few stores, but most of the clothing in them seemed to be of poor quality and not very structured - I like a nice, clean look myself. And then I saw a window with lovely things - fitted dresses that could have worked for Audrey Hepburn, in basic solids, polka-dots, or with some minimal piping. Thinking this looked promising, I went inside.

Of course I don't know what size I am in Italian sizes, and I don't speak much Italian. In addition, as an American, I am much larger than the average Italian woman, both in height and girth. I must have looked a little confused, because a saleslady came over and immediately started rattling off some fast Italian, pulling dresses off the rack to show me. I was pretty intimidated, and did my best to tell her that I didn't know my size. She pulled a bright purple dress off the rack, and told me to follow her into the basement to try it on, so I did.

She showed me into a dressing room, but I was only just out of my clothes and halfway into the dress when she barged in on me and started tugging and zipping. I tried on a few things, trying to tell her what colors I would like and such, but she kept telling me everything I tried was "beautiful", even though I thought most of the dresses were a bit tight. I was quickly becoming bewildered. Finally, she pulled out a red dress, and when I say red, I mean FIRE ENGINE HARLOT RED. And... that was the dress I bought.

I got out of the store and immediately had second thoughts: too tight? not really "me"? too racy for a wedding guest? And it was about 20 Euro over the budget I had set for myself. And it doesn't match the shoes I was planning on wearing, so now I need new shoes. So basically, this was the lady version of what happened to me yesterday with the guard at Naples.

I brought the dress home, and told the story to a few of the lovely Australian girls who are staying here at the hostel. They had me model it for them, and they said it was lovely, so I'm going to chalk this one up as a happy ending. And Jesse and Carla, I'll be the guest wearing FIRE ENGINE HARLOT RED at your wedding. Hope you still love me. :)

Also, this is why I should not go shopping for a wedding dress by myself when the time comes. Once strangers start barging in on me when I'm in my skivvies, all ability to think rationally pretty much goes out the window for me.

Tomorrow, back to more sensible things: Herculaneum!

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