That would be me, Mrs. Moglie. Married to a native Italian, Mr. Marito.
Mother to a daughter in high school, Ms. SmartyPants and a son in middle school, Mr. Uometto.
Employed at a private British School as an English teacher and Coordinator of Children's Studies.
Part of a small, but growing Protestant church in Frascati, a small town in the hills just outside of Rome.

This is where I sometimes gripe, complain and grumble about the things I dislike, have yet to get used to or simply don't understand about bella Italia.
I do, however, have many people, places and things that I dearly love and I am more than aware of being blessed by each and every one of them.
Also - a few helpful posts for visitors to Rome or for newly arrived ex pats. Check the side bar for tags. I've even some recipes that I've borrowed, tweaked or invented. One thing I've come to love about Italy is how it's changed the way I eat - slow food !! Although ... I do miss Taco Bell ... and Jack in The Box ... and KFC ... and ::sigh::
Thanks for stopping by !!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Came; I Spoke; I Blundered

Anyone who's traveled to a foreign country will have stories about 
words mispronounced, misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Who cut the cheese? 

Mr. Marito was accompanying me one fine morning to shop for groceries. Normally, I go alone as he's in his office from 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday. Occasionally, he'll have a morning off and this is when I take advantage of the wonders that are modern conveniences ... the car. Mr. Marito drives. Mr. Marito drives some more. Mr. Marito drives a little more after that. Mr. Marito finds a (double) parking space. Mr. Marito waits in the car and I shop, shop, shop. I buy all those things that are usually bought only after much careful mathematical pondering. If Jane buys 1 kilo of salt and 2.5 kilos of potatoes and 1 liter of olive oil and 500 grams of pork chops and 2 cucumbers and a head of lettuce and half a dozen eggs and a bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap and the last two issues of Topolino and Paperino that the kids have been asking for ... and a loaf of bread, will she be able to walk home without serious injury to her back, neck and hands? Probably not.

So with my very own personal heavy stuff carrier at my beck and call, I buy, buy, buy all those lovely large voluminous packages of heaviness. y a y !

But on occasion, like today, Mr. Marito would decide to chaperon on foot, particularly so, if it was a lovely day for walking. At the usual alimentari where I get cold cuts, bread and cheeses, I asked the gentleman behind the counter for 200 grams of grated parmesan cheese. I often ask for 200 grams as it lasts our family of four just the right amount of time without going stale. After receiving all of our purchases along with the receipt, we headed to the cashier to pay.

Outside the store Mr. Marito rummages (very energetically) through our groceries and pulls out the little plastic container which holds our freshly grated parmesan cheese. "What is this?" he asks. No doubt I gave him a puzzled, if not worried, look. "Whaaa?" He repeats, eyes wide, "What is this?" "Um ... è parmigiano," I reply. Yes, yes, it's parmesan, but what kind of parmesan? He waits for my answer. I purse my lips and furrow my brow. Is this a trick question? "Um ... è parmigiano gratuito." boom! Laughter ensues. Hard, slap your knee, guffaw laughter. I'm more than a little confused.

It turns out, rather than asking for parmigiano grattugiato (grated), I had been asking for parmigiano gratuito. I had, for the past two years since arriving in Italy, been asking for 200 hundred grams of free parmesan cheese, thank you very much.

I am an eejit. 

On the Bright Side
°each and every deli server I had come across had been kind enough NOT to laugh at my blunder (at least in my face), but had simply given me grated cheese ^.^
°Mr. Marito had great fun laughing at my expense
°it's a good story to tell in social gatherings amongst a group of new friends or acquaintences 

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