This is a post from a few years ago. I just returned from Spain, and my experience was similar. Thought it appropriate to re-post this. Hope you enjoy!
I am back in the U.S. after having spent over a week in Italy. Tuscany and Rome to be exact. I have been in Italy several times, and have managed to learn how to communicate well enough to get around, shop, order in restaurants, etc. I have become more confident communicating in my version of Engli-talian, and felt comfortable enough to ask a few people things, such as permission to photograph their dogs. I like to see how they are treated abroad, what breeds are popular, etc. So I proceeded to do just that, while embarrassing my children in the process.
Turns out, I embarrassed myself as well. There is this great app called Google translate, on my phone. It will translate words and sentences for you. The key, though, is to use it before you try to say something in the language you are unfamiliar with. That worked perfectly well on the plane, congratulating the newlyweds I sat next to during our flight. But, on the street, there was not time to go to my phone to type in my inquiries. Instead, I managed to confuse, and insult, I fear, a handful of polite Italians.
Here are some examples of the gibberish that came out of my mouth.
“You have a beautiful old dog face. I want the camera of them.”
“May I have a camera of the meat?” (meat = Carne, dog = cane, fyi)
“Is this your, a cat?”
“May I please take your camera?”
” I would like a camera of you dog.”
“Where is the animals in the hospital?”
Soon after I realized I was making a complete ass out of myself, I decided to reevaluate all my “Italian”. But that was after I had, again, embarrassed my husband and myself ordering in restaurants.
“I would like dog meat instead of cold, meat”. (hot = caldo, dog = cane, fyi). So, basically I did not want carpaccio, I wanted something warm and cooked.
“I would like two bottles of water. One non-carbonated without bubbles. And the other without bubbles please.”
As a result, I took some pictures of dogs and cats, without permission, and without the time to get close and better shots. Still, I got some and here are a few.
I mean, how can you not love a country that celebrates the union of a sheep to a ram, in MARRIAGE no less. (see above).
I love the female cat sign on the door to a public restroom.
And this is a cat who was happily napping in her pew in a church in Pienza, until I came along. A little shy, but we hung out a while together, quietly, getting relief from the sun.
You get the picture. It’s a great place. They let you insult them in botched up Italian and still serve up the best gelato and wine and meals. They love their pets, dress well, and have the most beautiful views in the world.
Speaking of views:
Until next time Italia, Ciao!
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