Saturday, September 25, 2004


bit of a funny story (well, the story´s funny enough, but my telling of it may suck, so don´t get your hopes up).

i´m walking down a mountain in italy. coming up the trail are a couple of tourists. i say "buon giorno" in a passable italian accent. the tourists reply "bon jerno." americans. i roll my eyes discreetly, and they proceed to pull out a phrase book and attempt to ask me all kinds of questions, like how far is the castle, how long will it take to get there, etc... i decide to have a bit of fun and play dumb. i tell them in italian that i don´t understand, and let them sweat it out for a few more moments, bumbling along in phrasebookese. i then proceed to make up a bunch of fake italian-sounding crap, smile, and continue down the trail, almost falling off a cliff from laughing so hard. really, they were like National Lampoon´s Eruopean Vacation incarnate; it was hilarious.

Which i why i totally deserved exactly what i got from the french waiter.

on my last afternoon in arles i had time to kill, having been chucked out of my hostel at 10 am, but my train didn´t leave until 4. not wanting to spend the day walking around with 3 weeks worth of baggage on my back, around i went and found a pleasant cafe´overlooking the old roman arena (which seats 20K and is so well preserved it´s still in use for bullfights) and took a seat at a table outside in the shade. i flagged the waiter ("Garcon!"), and ordered a glass of red wine, all in gramatically correct but very poorly uttered french. there was a bit of confusion, because that particular cafe´ it seems doesn´t normally serve wine by the glass. the smallest unit on the menu was half a carafe, which was too much for me. after some more bad french and a lot of gesticulating, i got them to bring me a glass of wine. i spent an hour there, enjoying my bordeaux, writing in my journal, and admiring the scenery. an old man passing by stopped and smiled at me for several seconds and winked. when i had finished my drink, i asked my waiter for the bill, which he brought. when i had paid it he smiled at me and said in perfect english, "thank you madam. have a pleasant afternoon." Aaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Oh, well. I deserved it. And it was funny.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It works equally as well in native geordie to an american tourist...I think the common factor may be the american tourist... 80)