This morning, I went to the Gallery Hotel to meet a friend for a caffè (coffee). They have a lavish library with large couches and coffee tables for their guests. We caught the attention of a cameriere (waitress) who was walking by to order our drinks. Just a few minutes later, Per Kroldrup, who plays for the Fiorentina, walked in. He and his girlfriend/spouse sat down on the couches behind us, so I couldn't watch them.
After a couple of hours, the woman stood up and put on her coat. When I looked back, she was leaving the room and he was sitting on the couch. I turned around and said, "Scusa, ti posso chiedere una dedica? Excuse me, can I have an autograph?" He looked up at me and said, "Come no Certainly." I walked over to him with my notebook and a purple pen. "Come ti chiami? What's your name?" he asked and began writing in my notebook.
Suddenly, I started babbling like a teenager. I asked him if he spoke English because he's danese (Danish), not as if he couldn't speak Italian properly. He asked me where I was from and I told him, "California, ma sto a Firenze...e sono una tifosa viola. California, but I live in Florence...and I am a Fiorentina fan."
I tried to stop talking, but felt a little nervous while he signed my notebook for me. I think I was nervous because I hoped that he wasn't upset about having to sign a dedica for me. He seemed very sweet, but I was afraid that I'd be bothering him.
While he was signing his name, I asked, "Giochi domani? Volevo andare alla partita ma sono un po' raffredata... Are you playing tomorrow? I wanted to go to the game, but I've got a cold." I was surprised at myself for saying too much. "Spero di sì. I hope so," he said. "Poi è tardi, no? Verso le nove. It's late isn't it? Around 9pm." He looked up at me, "Sì verso le nove o le nove e un quarto. Yes around nine or nine fifteen."
He handed me my notebook and I thanked him. "In bocca al lupo. Good luck," I said as I walked away. "Crepi," he responded with a big smile.
I sat back down and didn't look back at him, but I was proud of myself for asking him for a dedica. I have run into Donadel, another calciatore (soccer player) for the Fiorentina, and Prandelli, who is the team's allenatore (coach), but I was too embarrassed to ask either one for a dedica.
My friend wasn't as impressed with the Kroldrup's dedica, so as soon as I got outside I called Alessandro. He was happy for me. He's the one who has asked two other calciatori for their dediche for me: Sébastien Frey and Tomás Ujfalusi, who know plays in Spain. The next time I'll try not too ramble as much, but I was happy that Kroldrup wasn't bothered that I asked him for a dedica.
Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!