After some debacle with the ill effects of Bonine, drinking, foreign currency exchange people and Lonely Planet Italian/English translation book page flipping, my friend and I found a taxi.
The woman behind the wheel has been plucked straight from the “Italians R Us” store, as you couldn’t have designed a more quintessential Italian woman If you tried; wild carefree flowing dark curls, big smile, large sunglasses, leather coat, bluejeans, tank top and a red scarf. She spoke very little English but gladly let me practice my (very) basic Italian on her.
As we navigated the bizarrely confusing streets of Florence, I thanked my lucky stars that we hadn’t decided to drive ourselves (that adventure was yet to come). Florence is a mostly walled city made up of seemingly endless one way streets and very, very tall buildings. Clearly not an issue for our cabbie, as she hurled our exhausted, befuddled, hungry, punch-drunk and still slightly medicated bodies through space and time (I’m pretty sure that the whole planet is actually on the same timezone but cab drivers are constantly breaking the laws of physics to get their fares in and out their doors quickly).
Providence shined momentarily, as we converted in the backseat to whichever deity seemed appropriate to get us safely to our destination, in other words, we came to a red-light that our driver actually obeyed. This gave me a moment of pause to check out, in more detail, the folks on the street.
To my astonishment we were apparently smack dab in the middle if a Swing Out Sister video circa 1984 and it was awesome. Some people milling about wore bright colors and big sunglasses, skinny jeans, scarves and had fabulously styled poufy hair. And that was just the men!
It was in this moment I realized that, not only was I in one if the most religiously relevant countries in the world, but also at the birthplace of The Metrosexual.
One particular 20something guy was especially hip wearing the aforementioned Metro outfit, as well as an iPod that sat neatly to his side with earphones leading up to his bobbing head. His hips swayed lightly to and fro with occasional undulation. I know this because I said out loud, “Hey, I think that guy is actually undulating!”
And why shouldn’t he? He’s good looking, young, Italian, dressed well and probably says things like “Ciao, ciao,” and ” eeeyze-okay!” in a voice that makes you want to hop on a motorbike and tour the countryside. I undulated in appreciation all the way to the hotel.