October 18, 2008

OK, this is just sad.

Filed under: food,language,travel — origamifreak @ 7:39 pm
Tags: ,

 10/18/2008 7:39 PM



After arriving at the hotel around 1pm, I took a nap and woke up around 6. I got myself together and around 7 went to find something to eat. Nearby there is a café/bar/gelateria and they were open, so I went in to see if they had food. They did. There were a few clusters of people sitting around tables, having drinks. I asked if the guy behind the bar spoke English? Nope. Hmm. Well, all the signs in my hotel room are in three languages: Italian, English… and German.


So I tried the third option. “Deutsch?” I asked. “Ja, naturlich,” he responded. So even with my Italian phrasebook, here I am in the country of my grandparents, most easily communicating in the language of the very invaders that made them leave, in the first place. *sigh*

I did try, though. I used my pathetic, stilted “Italian” as much as I could, and only resorted to German when that didn’t work. So those kind, patient people had to wade through my poorly-pronounced hodgepodge of Italian/Spanish/French/Germanglish. And they did it while smiling and remaining friendly.

The food was OK. I ordered it off a standard bar menu and I suspect that they just have frozen entrees in the back that they heat up for people. The gelato was great. I had the wine-flavored one, with little pieces of grape skin in it. The lady offered me Zhane with it, which really confused me until she pointed to a whipped cream machine. Oh yeah. That’s right. “Cream”. It’s not like I’ve ever actually USED German for travelling before, so that was not one of the words in the forefront of my mind. I declined; the gelato was just fantastic without adornment.

I suppose it’s of necessity that people will use German here. In Denmark all the older people I met knew German, but they absolutely refused to speak it. Most of them spoke perfect English, so I didn’t need to use Danish much or look for alternatives.

The place I am right now was (temporarily) part of Austria until it was awarded back to Italy after WWII. The border has moved a lot over the past 200 years; so many times that I have lost track of the exact number. Given how ubiquitous German seems to be, it looks like they must come for vacations. So they’re *still* invading, just economically. In the grand scheme of things maybe it’s not so terrible that I can use German here. The population is mixed and judging from my surname, some of my own ancestors were probably northerners who came and settled within the last thousand years, so maybe I shouldn’t judge? It’s complicated.


1 Comment »

  1. Oh, I am so glad you are blogging from Italy! Even if it is in German-speaking Italy.
    Mmm, the wine-flavored gelato sounds wonderful.

    Comment by jpm14 — October 19, 2008 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

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