I've had just enought time to... say "banana" in Italian.
|Warm Italian on a cold autumn evening|
It was 7.00 pm in Parma and we were cold and hungry. The last few days we had been having dinner at 6.00 pm in Denmark which was kind of early but in Italy, the restaurant only opens at 8.00 pm which was kind of late for us. While waiting for the recommended restaurant to open, we hanged around and ended in front of a small fruit stall. The owner came out and engaged us in a conversation where neither party understood a single word the other was saying.
It was kind of fun though. He pressed his thumbs against the first finger and thrust it in a forward motion saying something we could not make head or tail of. This was repeated several times and we made our guesses about the significance of this gesture but not convinced we understood him. That was until he made the ringing sound before we realized he was kindly suggesting that we rang the doorbell of the restaurant which is just down the road. We laughed and told him we had done that but was not sure he understood us. Everyone was smiling and the autumn wind did not feel as cold.
With time to kill, we looked at his products and our puzzled look must have given away the fact we did not know what that ugly looking fruit with wrinkled skin was. He said something in Italian but that of course did not strike a bell. He then gently pushed against the skin revealing a deep wet purple meat beneath. Beetroot I guessed. I think. That opened the floodgate. We then pointed out the fruits and vegetables and he said it out lout in Italian. And we offered the English name. Who needs words for communication?
|What is this fruit/vegetable/root? Anyone knows?|
There was no way we could remember all those Italian words. So we decided to remember at least one word, an easy one. We looked at the fruits and pointed at a bunch of banana –
“How do you say that in Italian?”
He looked at us with a bemused look and say “Ba-na-nuh!”
And we all burst out laughing simultaneously. Okay, we will never forget that! We left happily for the restaurant waving goodbye to our new found friend. We will probably never meet again but every time I see banana, I will remember that happy Italian face saying “Ba-na-nuh!”.