If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

10 March 2005

They like me, they really like me...!

Maybe that's overstating it. But it's night number three on my own in Italy, I've realized that the driving was the easy part!

After 8 hours on the road today plus 4 hours wandering around production nurseries pretending to be interested in every little thing (with a consultant who doesn't speak English), I'm truly whipped. Drove around a tiny little airport suburb of Rome (Ostia) for 45 minutes desperately trying to get to my hotel across a divided highway, argh!

Once I finally landed at 9 pm, the LAST thing I wanted to do was drive back out again... so for dinner, I find myself in a hellish, weird little pizzeria-esque place called "Del Capitano". It has a strange nautical theme, is too brightly lit, and filled with Japanese tourists ... but blessedly close enough to walk from the hotel ('Airport Palace' which is decidedly NOT palatial - boy, ain't travel glam?!?!) and I'm too hungry to care.

But it was here, at Del Capitano, that I found my first acceptance (or at least indifference!?!) here in Italy. A little man -- greying, beard, glasses -- maybe the Capitano himself? -- waits on me. I abandon my typical custom of ordering the 'specialita della casa,' for fear of what it will be in such an odd place, and instead go with the safe bet. Here's the exchange:

Me: Primo, vino rosso, per piacere. (first, red wine, please)
Capitano: un biquiere? (a glass?)
Me: no, penso che meglio un mezzo litro, per favore. (No, I think a half-litre will be better.)
Capitano: e per la cena? (and for dinner?)
Me: insalata caprese e una pizza con salciccia e carciofi. (tomato mozzarella salad and sausage and artichoke heart pizza.)
Capitano. Va bene. Subito. (That's good, its on the way.)

Yes -- it's a little thing, but bless him, he speaks to me in Italian! It is of course blatantly obvious that not only am I NOT Italian, but also that his English is likely somewhere betweeen sufficient and excellent. But after lunch the day before, my confidence was definitely bending (if not broken), and his willingness to LET me speak Italian - albeit poorly and basically -- re-inflates my flagging spirit. He even seemed to like me a little. Or at least he smiled.

Thank goodness for the little things, including the party of 6 japanese tourists who definitely spoke less Italian and were so much more obnoxious than me. Maybe I really can do this.


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