Thursday, April 29, 2010

prostitution, partying, and megastores

Guess who had another group-trip dream? This one was to Italy (or an Italy-like country). In the first part, I was walking around an old city square. It wasn't as idyllic as it sounds, though. There were various construction things around (those wooden sidewalk-cover tunnels, mostly), and a fair amount of trash. There were also a lot of youngish men loitering and walking around*. They were invariably small, kind of greasy, tackily dressed (tracksuits, gold chains, and curly mullets figured prominently), and they were all, in various languages, propositioning me for favors. The most common was "how much for the night?" I found that I understood perfectly what they were all saying, and a tiny part of me was exulting at my perfect understanding of languages I didn't really speak. I didn't take the propositioning too seriously; it was kind of annoying and unsettling, but I figured that it was a cultural thing and that they weren't targeting me in particular, just any female in a certain age range.

After that I was with my dad in a gigantic semi-outdoor home/garden/decoration megastore. My eye was caught by a display of wrapping paper on sale--there was a really beautiful Art Nouveau-ish design with red poppies, and some colorful Josef-Frank-esque botanical designs. I was trying to decide on a couple to buy, since I don't use that much wrapping paper. The more I looked, the more confused I got. I saw some very cute designs that were very original and would be really good for wrapping kids' gifts--but then I remembered that I don't give that many kids gifts. I finally decided I should just go with the two I had seen at first, since I had been there so long (my dad was being extremely indulgent, pretending to root around and be genuinely interested in the wrapping paper while waiting for me). Once I decided on that course of action, though, I could no longer find any that I wanted, let alone the two I had seen before. All I could see were disappointingly unoriginal designs that looked pretty lackluster up close.

I decided to give up on the wrapping paper and accompany my dad to look for some item he was looking for (which had been the original purpose of the trip). I commented on how gigantic the store was, and recalled that Curly Sue had told me of being on a business trip to Houston (??!) and killing time in a similar store.

After that, I was with a larger group (still in a vaguely Italian place) including my husband and some assorted acquaintances from college. It was in the evening, and activity plans were being negotiated. Several of us were lounging on a huge couch/bed thing, and suddenly a girl I had known in college threw herself down next to me/on me John-and-Yoko style. I was a bit taken aback at this sudden incursion into my personal space, but didn't try to make her move because I was cold. There was a lot of tedious back-and-forth in the group about where we would go and what we would do, and it became clear that the group members were all very !Party!Party! types. I found myself agreeing to go out and "party" with them. Not being much of a partier in real life, I was surprised at myself, and even more surprised to realize that although it was getting late I wasn't tired at all. Of course I woke up tired after that.

*An eerily true-to-life detail, from my limited experience in Italy.

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