Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just another day at the "office"

Today, at work, I asked how the verb "to itch" was conjugated.  Asking Italians how verbs are conjugated is, at times, simply asking to start a fight. This one ended in my having to google the verb, as well as a giant yelling match and the chef throwing a small octopus at me (as a joke, but I still screamed).  It turns out that, like with being a speaker in any language, everyone knows how to say something right and when you are saying something wrong, but asking why is a question no one can really answer.  Everyone was right (except for one waitress who literally had no idea how to say it, and is now getting picked on for the rest of the week for this), but it's interesting how when you ask someone who is a native speaker of a language to explain a grammatical rule, they can't.  You know by the sound if someone is saying something correct or not, but beyond that, it's a mystery - and I don't blame them.  They have a lot of grammar here.
Manuel and I switched around the schedule a bit which means every day I go in at 3.  It's fine for me, as I have time to do things like go to the post office, which is now finally reopened after the flood.  We had our trusty postal minivan for several months, which was more or less inutile for me as you could not buy stamps or send things to America.  The post office, like all the things up on Via Roma, is bright and shiny and new - and packed full of Monterossini half joking about the bright, shiny, new-ness of it. I, in fact, rode my bright shiny new bike up there the other day before work, and stood on line laughing as every single person that came in yelled out something about the marvelous post office to anyone that would listen.

Though the post office is now something that is no longer inutile, or useless, by bike sadly is.  All excited to scoot through town on my new mode of transport, I forgot the fact that using a bike in certain parts is slower then just walking.  When there are a group of oblivious tourists (for example, 50 Germans*, with walking sticks, like yesterday), by poor little bell does not do anything to move people out of the way.  Now in the "bike rider" club, I commiserated with some other people who have bikes in town, who assured me the best way to move people is to kick them.  I think they were kidding, but again, not sure.  Robi explained to me that it is one of the great mysteries of tourists, who will walk directly at you as you are riding your bike, in the street, to work, and then seem shocked and confused when they arrive directly in front of your bike, and that they have to move.   I do a mixture of riding and walking the majority of the time, still a little shaky on my new wheels, and now wanting to kick a German*.  Even if it gets me to the new post office faster before work.

*My mother has informed me that my German-American father has taken offense to this.  I do not mean any offense towards Germans.  I was using them simply as an example, as they were the group I encountered in this specific example and the nationality can be substituted into any other one you'd like.  Micronesians, even, we can use :)


  1. Hi Christine. well we are back in australia and have been trying to find the Cantian on FB so we can join and share some photo with you. we loved our stay and so enjoyed meeting you and the team from the Cantina. we highly recomend a visit to anyone going to Cinque Terre.
    thanks for sharing with us and making our stay so amazing. hope to see you again my next visit. Blessings.

  2. Hi Denise! Thank you for coming and it was great meeting you ladies! The Cantina on Facebook is here - I'd love to see the pictures! :)
    Best, Christine

    1. Hello My Friend, I hope you are feeling better, I have liked the facebook page and have also sent a message with some photo's for you. take care and Hello to all for us here in Qld Australia.
      regards Denise