Italian ChaT

I went downstairs, storming, as I wanted to be out and about as soon as possible.

There she was:

Oh Buongiorno! Dormito bene?” (Oh good morning! Slept well?)

I stopped. “There she is, the old lady, again.”

Buongiorno!“I replied reluctantly. “Why do I feel uncomfortable? Is it her mesmerizing blue eyes? She looks wise and dangerously smart. That smart that makes you feel like your soul is open and ready for her to read.”

Svegliata presto, giovane signorina! E anche di fretta. Gradisce un caffé?

(Woke up early, young lady (literally would be miss). And also in a hurry. Would you like to have a cup of coffee?)

Mmmmmm….

“Dai un bel caffé, non so lei ma anche se estate io lo prendo sempre caldo che scotta. Aggiungiamo anche il latte? Che ne dice di un pó di torta caprese al limone, no?”

(C’mon! A nice (cup of) coffee, I don’t know about you, but even though it’s summer, I like it boiling hot. Would you like to add some milk? What about some Caprese lemon cake?)

“Mmmmm…Ok!”

“If you would like me to speak in English, it is no problem for me. I am getting your coffee, milk and cake!”

“It’s ok. I speak Italian. Besides this is Italy, isn’t it?”

“I know, dear. But I sense that you don’t want to.”

“Well these are really my issues with Italian and specially Italians.”

“Oh mi dispiace, qualcuno le ha spezzato il cuore?”

(Oh I’m sorry, someone broke your heart?)

“Worse, I get to work with them. Hahahaha! And some of them are real jerks! But hey, I don’t have any choice!”

“Oh you, working? I thought you came to visit Bologna, since it is so beautiful this time of the year! Such a pity!”

“No, I am on a vacation. I am seeing some friends, actually. I am surprised though…”

“Oh you youngsters of these days, I know what you mean, is it about my English?… You all think, you know everything, that you can easily detect what’s false and what’s not, you are so smart with your tech devices and internet, and you speak all these languages. But you read less, you listen less, you think less, you speak, true, but you are talking less and well you do write more, but what is it that you write… Looks like you have so much to say, but what is it that you are really sharing? And you complain that no one listens…”

Here we go again, feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. That was so stupid of me! Did I offend her? Nnzzz why do I even care…

What’s worse, she was telling the truth, and now I find myself checking her out, I unconsciously started to list her features. My mind’s identikit habit…as usual!

Grey hair but perfectly groomed oh and those penetrating eyes though, like they are everywhere… Her gaze felt weirdly warm, her wrinkles… how old was she anyway, she looked 60-65, but I had the hunch she was older. I couldn’t help but think, she must have been beautiful when she had been young, and she wasn’t ugly now, she was still beautiful and gracious. I felt a pang of jealousy, silly right? I was so young, still a lot to do, all my life ahead and here I was, feeling jealous of a nice, sweet lady.  I would like to grow old like her…

She was flashing a full teeth smile. Ok enough lady, spare me please. White and perfect teeth, while my tongue was spinning to check my own, and the vivid image of me smoking one cigarette after the other popped before my eyes…

“Quindi? Mi accompagna?”

(So? Are you coming?)

“Volentieri, ad una condizione.”

(With pleasure, on one condition.)

“Certo, mi dica!”

(Of course, tell me!)

“Mi dia del “tu”!”

(In English, second person singular/plural and also formal is always “you” while in Italian, second person in singular is “tu” and it’s used when there is a certain confidence with the other part. Formal form of speaking to strangers is “lei”. So this is a step to start a confidential conversation, asking to be referred to in second singular with “tu”.)

“Hahahaha ooo finalmenteeee, era ora, stavo pensando la stessa cosa. Il “lei” mi fa sentire cosí vecchia!”

(Finally, it was about time, I was thinking the same thing. The “lei” thing makes me feel so old!)

That was the start of a long, lazy summer morning.

To be continued…

Read more in: Italian ChaT Part II

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