Here's a story that I wrote about 10 years ago. Just a fun one since I thought it's be a good time to give people a little grin.
How often when you have traveled have you been out of your depth because you didn't speak the language of a country you were visiting? One occasion that I ran into a language barrier was in a country where I actually speak the language. I was in London for summer classes and was fully able to appreciate the reality that London is the gateway to Europe. There were people from all over the world on the streets of London, and I was visiting in the midst of tourist season.
My American friends and I set out one afternoon for shopping in London to be followed by dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (the Hard Rock restaurants weren't yet available in most cities in the U.S.). We had a vague idea of where it was located, but we weren't quite sure. After we had done a little shopping, we decided to ask someone on the street for directions. Instead of just choosing a random individual, we decided that we might as well ask these extremely handsome men that were standing about 10 feet away. I went up and asked if they could point us in the direction of the Hard Rock and was floored upon closer inspection by the striking appearance of one of them. His skin tone was sort of a dark olive color and he had piercing denim-blue eyes. When he spoke, I gathered that he was from Spain. Well, he and his friend gave me directions to the restaurant and sent us on our way. My friends and I wandered around for about 10 or 15 minutes before we stopped and realized that we probably weren't any closer to the Hard Rock Cafe then we had been before we asked for directions. As we were looking around and trying to get our bearings, we noticed the same two men, and they were just watching us.
From that point, we knew that we were on our own if we were going to ever find the Hard Rock (no need to embarrass ourselves any further). I don't know if the men intentionally led us astray, if we just weren't paying attention to the directions (it really was a challenge for me to concentrate at all after looking at those eyes), or if the language barrier never allowed us to exchange the correct information in the first place. My college friends were from Massachusetts and had a name for a guy this attractive, they called him "a real Mario." It was just a name for any exquisite physical specimen of a man who was of Italian or Latin descent (the Latin-lover stereotype, you might say). Whatever you want to call the man in London makes no difference to me, I will never forget those eyes. Okay, or the body. Who's kidding who?
And yes, we did eventually find the Hard Rock. Our legs were only a little worse for wear when we arrived.