"The sharp knife of a short life

I've had just enough time..."

- "If I Die Young" The Band Perry

I see Beauty in many things. And like the ghosts that only speak to you if you notice them, they tell me wondrous tales. With my camera and my thoughts, I captured these as faithfully as I can to share with you. And by doing so, they gave me the reasons. And though the thousand reasons may not all be sweet and some indeed bitter; they are still reasons to live. Come to think about it, that is Life, isn't it?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

What is Banana in Italian?

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!”.


  1. 1000 Reasons (Busy, busy, busy)
    This is the passionate Italian shopkeeper that we met on the first evening in Parma. We will be meeting many more. Italian shop owners are high up on my list of the most friendly shopkeepers in the world whether you are buying or not. Unfortunately, the reputations of Italian pickpockets are also well deserved from my personal experience. But that is a story for another day.

    nikolaos p.
    Nice shot!!

    Interesting, as always. I look forward to more from your adventure. :-)

    What else but banana:-) you captured a beautiful smile by the vender!
    Have a great weekend my friend.

  2. :-) A great story Thou San! Indeed, 'just another word' ;-)

    Greetings from the Netherlands! ;-)


  3. Onasill
    Well caught vegetable frontage....always enjoyable to read you follow ups on the pic.

    BlueLunarRose 21 hours ago
    Looks all delicious, like his friendly smile, beautiful capture!

    henrhyde (gill) catching up
    Grand presentation , of this image

    Aslam Kareem 13 hours ago
    What a magnificent photo

    Rebecca Ang
    Read the interesting and funny account of your encounter with the warm and friendly Italian fruit/vegetable stall owner. Good to see his broad smile in this pic. Tis' true, we tend to rely so much on verbal language for communication. Of course, words are such a major channel of communication. But sometimes we forget other possible ways of connecting, communicating, of finding common ground such as via nonverbal means or through music.


  4. Onasill, Carl's Captures, 5div, and 1 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1000 Reasons (Busy, busy, busy)
    Who knows what this strange looking fruit/vegetable/roots are? The meat is a deep purple. I guess it was beetroot. Does anyone know for sure to correct me?

    Great close up Thou! you making me hungry now:-)

    Perfect execution and excellent attention to details Thou

    Carl's Captures o
    Nice tones and textures and an amusing “ba-na-nuh” story :) Thanks for the entertainment and education!

    Perhaps, though I've never seen a beetroot with such deeply puckered skin or that colour skin. I've grown them in my rooftop garden sometimes & that's what I'm recalling ...not those in the supermarket which, otherwise, I might imagine had been hybrid to aesthetic viewing perfection. I love beets, pickled or otherwise. Takes me back to childhood. Growing up in north of England my mom would make pickled beet sandwiches ....yum*~* When going to a restaurant I'm sometimes surprised with an interesting beet dish on the menu. No, don't look like beets to me. Was the flesh very firm & have ringed veins in it? Thanks for your input on 'viewing the ML' series. Was an interesting experiment to document the viewers rather than that which they were viewing. Not sure why the guards told me to stop. They made that request only after I moved to the front of the crowd to shoot rather than within or on the periphery of the crowd. Perhaps they thought I was now too conspicuous & someone being photographed might complain *~*

    Patricia Speck o
    I have never seen beetroot look like this, but I guess they could be more 'natural' ones.
    Excellent shot all the same my friend


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