Wednesday, 26 February 2014

An aging gigolo on the Costa del Sol - a cautionary tale

I’ve been living in Fuengirola for a while now, and recently moved from the centre of town down to Los Boliches.  My new apartment is second line from the beach, so it’s in a very nice spot for walking my dog.

I’m a divorced woman, let’s say “mature” in age.  I live alone with my little dog, Nina, who is a cute little cross-breed rescue.  I work in travel on the Internet, and also have a sideline writing media articles for a few news websites, so am generally at home, except when I am out walking the dog.  

To be honest I have had my share of boyfriends, and there was one ex-husband, so I am not really looking for a relationship and am happy to plod along as I am, go out with friends etc.

Anyhow, one day as I was about to let myself back into the apartment block after a stroll, a rather attractive grey-haired man came along with his little dog, let’s call him “Custer.”  “Custer” is a white Scottish terrier or Westie-cross, who immediately started sniffing around Nina.  Dog owners being dog owners, the man and I started chatting.  Turns out he is Italian and he seemed quite a nice guy.  We had a chuckle because apparently “Custer’s” mother was a Chihuahua, which brought quite an amusing little scenario to mind.  

In our conversation, he asked if I had a boyfriend and said something about how men and women weren’t supposed to live alone or some such.  He (let’s call him “Piero”) asked if I would mind if he buzzed on my buzzer sometime to take me for a drink?  I said, yeah, OK, that would be pleasant and quite honestly, didn’t really think anymore about it.

A few days later, I saw him on the beachfront, but he was in a hurry, rushing to the post office or some such.  However, later that same morning, “Piero” came to my apartment block and buzzed, apologizing for being rude earlier and could he come up for a brief chat.  I said OK.  I am a trusting soul most of the time.

We chatted for a while, he told me he had a 17 year old son, and that he had “started late” in parenting and that he was caring for him until he goes off to university.  He also mentioned that he owned an elderly German Shepherd female that he had rescued on the beach.  He told me how he used to take both dogs up into the hills above Torreblanca for long walks.

Anyway, he didn’t stay very long and I didn’t see him again for quite a while.  Then I bumped into him on the beachfront one lunch time, chatting to another lady.  I briefly said, “Hi” and continued on my way. 

 One hour later, there was a buzz at my door again, and he came up for a short visit.  He always seemed a little distracted on the rare occasions he came around, in mid-sentence suddenly noticing one of my rather unusual ornaments or something – and was always in a hurry to get home.  He was also rather disparaging about the fact that I work on the computer on the Internet all day (later on I figured out why).

Italians do more than talk with their hands

This little tale finally came to the crunch last Sunday.  There was a buzz on the buzzer just after 9.00 a.m. – I had barely had my second cup of coffee and hadn’t even thought about breakfast yet (basically in Sunday Zombie mode).  Anyway, I let “Piero” in and he sat there, restless and chatting, fiddling with things on my desk and on the coffee table.

Suddenly he gets up and comes over to me, tries to let my hair down from the ponytail I usually wear, and starts trying to kiss me, groping me all over.  I did not enjoy this one little bit and kept pushing him away. 
The funny thing is, I suddenly noticed that “Custer” was doing pretty much the same thing to Nina, and I burst out laughing.  Sort of a case of man humps woman, while dog humps dog – which to me was absolutely hilarious.  For some reason he didn’t find it so amusing (LOL).  I even tried joking, “Hey, how about wining and dining me first?”  (By the way, we never got around to that suggested drink at any stage.)

So anyway, basically I resisted his advances completely and told him to please leave, which he did, in a huff, saying he was horny, it wasn’t fair, sort of suggesting I was frigid or something, and I thought that was probably the end of it.

But no, the story got better.  You see, the Costa del Sol is actually a very small place.  I was telling my son about the incident the next day, and he started asking me a couple of questions about the man’s dogs, his appearance etc.  My son then started laughing.   

He used to live up in the Torreblanca area a couple of years ago and also used to take his dog for long walks in the hills.  On those long walks, he regularly saw an Italian guy with a German Shepherd and a little white Scottish Terrier or Westie-cross – yes you’ve guessed it, “Piero” and “Custer” – along with the other dog, which I have not met.

My son found him to be quite a nice guy and they chatted.  The guy told him about his wife, and how she worked on the Internet the whole time, which drove him crazy (hence the earlier mention of disparaging remarks about me doing the same).  

Eventually, boys being boys, the Italian felt he had to brag about various English women who also walked their dogs in the area.  He said that he regularly picked them up and even “shagged” them behind the bushes on a regular basis.  At the time, of course, my son (being male) thought “Piero” was a lucky guy.  He always used to say, “Damn these Italian men, they get all the women.”  Now, of course, he feels a little differently about it!

Naturally, armed with the knowledge my son gave me on Monday, I could hardly wait to see the man again, but never dreamed he would even bother to come here.  I was wrong.  On Tuesday night, the buzzer went again.  I walked out on the balcony and there was “Piero”, standing on the pavement opposite.  You know, sort of like the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene, but not so darn romantic, if you get my drift.  He asked me what I was doing.  I smiled sweetly and said I was working on the computer.  He started to say something else … I interrupted.

I then had the pure, simple and absolutely wonderful satisfaction of very calmly giving him hell.  In a sweet (but reasonably loud) voice, right across the street I said, “I found out some amazing things yesterday.”  He smiled and said, “Oh? What?”

I said, with a constant smile on my face, “Do you remember meeting a young South African guy walking his Golden Labrador up in the hills?”  He now started looking a little worried.  I continued, “You know, you showed him how to find wild asparagus?”

He started blustering a little, “Oh, oh, oh, is that your son?”

I said yes, and that he told me some really interesting things.  I then went on to tell him that I knew he was married, how his wife worked at home on the Internet, and even about the English ladies he had bragged about “shagging” behind the bushes up on the hillside.

While I was saying that, he suddenly says “goodbye” and starts rushing off down the street, to which I replied, “Goodbye Piero”, stick to your wife in future.”

Boy, did he pick the wrong girl to mess with this time. Such a pity that my street is so quiet this time of year and only my upstairs, Spanish-speaking only neighbour would have heard the exchange!  

OK, ladies, so you have been warned.  The names in the story above have been changed to something similar, but it all happened.  You might even have come across him yourself.   

Basically, he is a harmless sort of character.  I never felt in danger at any stage, but can you imagine just how much he has “been around?”  How many lonely ladies have actually fallen for his rather distracted charm?  We must always been aware of the risks involved.

So, if you should meet a grey-haired, quite attractive and charming Italian guy, who speaks excellent English, walking with a little white Scottish Terrier/Westie-cross, be forewarned!   

His hairline is receding a bit at the front, but is longish around the back of his head.  He has brown eyes and is fairly well-built.  On chilly days, he always has a rather natty scarf tied around his throat.  Be friendly, no problem, but if he makes any advances basically tell him in no uncertain terms where he can get off!  Unless, of course, like the ladies behind the bushes you find the idea interesting.

However, if you are reading this and happen to recognize your husband and dog in the tale, please accept my sincerest condolences.

By Anne Sewell