ON LEARNING ITALIAN

When we booked this trip last summer, I purposed that I would learn enough to get by. I got a Duolingo account, bought Rick Steves’ phrase book and got a copy of Pimsular Italian. I confess that I was a bit lax, but come on, I should at least get past “bonjourno”… Is it “hello?”, “good morning?” “goodbye?” I’ll try all three contexts and tune for puzzled looks. I suppose this is an excuse to complete this mission, go home, try again and come back. I do love the musical sound of Italian. Nothing sounds harsh to me even if there is “an issue”. Last year our tour bus driver happened to be Italian. A situation arose where he needed to express his extreme displeasure at the actions of another driver. He sounded like he was greeting his long-lost favorite friend. I am in our room now, resting on the bed, with the balcony door open to the piazza below. Snatches of Italian waft in on the cool May breeze. Children vendors, tourists, cafe staff: a symphony of voices. There is a mime busking on the promenade across the street. Perhaps I will go out and practice my language skill on him and see if I get a reaction. It would be worth the two Euro tip I might offer.

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