Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Scusa, Non Capisco!

Which is Italian for 'Sorry, I do not understand'. I still have not sorted out all the photos of Sicily which Bob and I took- even though it is 4 weeks since we were there. The Sicilians were lovely people, and we were conscious that there was a lot of poverty on the island. The street vendors who appeared, as if by magic, when it rained, carrying armsful of umbrellas were clearly not Italian - we wondered if they were refugees. And because we liked to wander off the beaten track, and visit smaller villages, there were fewer people speaking English. Some restaurants did have signs saying "English speaked here" 
But I do love words and language, even if it is not my own tongue.
I was very excited the first evening to discover I was drinking Montelbano's Mineral Water - but found out later that is an area of Messina. It has not been bottled by the great detective.

Our accommodation , I Rustici, was great - but the staff, although wonderfully friendly and incredibly helpful, didn't know much English beyond the absolute basics. With our rudimentary Italian, smiles and sign language, we all managed to sort things out. However I justhad to take photos of 3 of the signs in our apartment, because they made me smile.

It started well - a missing h and a mis-placed space wasn't too much of an issue

We were careful to avoid noises during our relax time, and in the night [unlike the guest in the next room, who had long, loud Italian phone conversations at all hours day and night]

Again reference to many tanks. We saw no tank, just the beautiful swimming pool - which we had to ourselves - no other guests seemed to want to swim.
But the best of all was the sign on the cover of the loo. The bathroom was immaculate, large, and well equipped with shower, wc, bidet and basin. And plenty of rails for towels. This label was clearly the official one from the manufacturer.
But I did wonder...
1 - soot, in a bathroom? I suppose if you light cheap candles...
2 - A steel brush knife sounds a terrifying weapon
3 - Volatilizer and chemical medicaments? [Bob thinks that may be aerosols]
4. Just never put your flower pot bucket on the loo seat cover, will you!! The last sentence sounds like one of those beauty ads for the seven signs of ageing.
I was reading the menu outside one restaurant, and my Italian deserted me completely. I was sure they were offering pasta filled with wives. I had confused mogli with mucche. The former is wives- the latter is cows!! It was beef ravioli! The lady outside was in hysterics, and kept saying "Moo!Moo!" in her efforts to help me understand.

But on the whole I was glad that people didn't just sigh and speak English to me, it was good to try and understand, and they did appreciate it when we said per favore, grazie and prego. And yet again, full marks to Al Italia - with the unexpected stopover in Rome, that was when it was really important to be able to understand what was happening, and the airline staff spoke impeccable English. 
I will post a few proper Italian holiday pictures soon... quando arrivo intorno ad esso [that's ''when I get round to it'!]


  1. Can't wait! Was that a little hotel or chambre d'hote place?

  2. Individual apartments, each with patio, table chairs etc, and a little communal breakfast room - plus use of pool and restaurant alongside serving evening meals (we didn't eat there, but it looked good) good value for money


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