10.14.2006

Thanks, Part 2

San Gimignano. Yeah, it's like that.

After I left Slovenia, I went by train to Florence, where Monique fetched me from Santa Maria Novella. My train ride--which required a transfer in Mestre--more or less encapsulated the Italian portion of my vacation as far as language went: I could more or less sort of vaguely kind of understood what was said to me ("Is that seat free?") and could more or less sort of vaguely kind of stammer and/or gesture something back, but if the interaction required me to use a verb, forget it. I don't do Italian verbs.

Luckily for me, Monique does, and did, which saved me a number of blank, grinning stares (I have no idea what you're saying, sir, but I can smile and nod) and ensured that we were able to do things like eat, rent a car, and secure housing when needed. She also put up with my mockery of "interesting" historical facts, braved the experience of driving standard not only on Italian motorways but also into the zonas pedonales of San Gimignano and Siena (not--I repeat, NOT--recommended), gamely tagged along on various wine tasting excursions, did the whole sightseeing thing in Tuscany even after a night of violent illness and general sleeplessness, and was good enough to celebrate my small linguistic successes (such as ordering a panino and purchasing gelato--again, sans verbs).

So thanks, Monique, for housing me, and skillfully operating that stovetop coffee maker, and pleading our case to the carabiniero in Siena, and translating Con Air for me a second time, and basically saving me from being one of the tourists I tried so hard to avoid. Mille grazie! (For the record, that's one of approximately twenty-seven things I know how to say in Italian; next trip I'm upping that count to at least forty-three.)

1 comment:

sgazzetti said...

Can I recommend that you make one of your new phrases ho i miei occhi foderati con prosciutto? It means "my eyes are upholstered with air-dried ham", and that seems like it would be a useful phrase for you on a pretty regular basis.