Friday, February 15, 2008

Artist Caravaggio in Firenze

Now usually on Thursday evenings, my friend Lisa and I attend the art history lectures given by Charles Cecil at his art school in Florence. Yesterday was no exception, despite Valentine’s Day. In fact, Mr. Cecil joked that perhaps he should not discuss the artist Caravaggio on such a holiday since Caravaggio killed a man. But it was a great lecture.

Afterwards, we went to our usual ristorante to share a pizza. We always try something new and just before ordering, I noticed a pizza named ‘Viagra.’ How perfect was that for some dateless wonders on the lover’s holiday? And it has lots of meat on it! Heh. So, Lisa and I got a kick out of our choice.

GianFranco acted amused. He is always our waiter on these nights and he greets us warmly each Thursday. He is one of the few Florentines who actually speaks Italian with us, so Lisa and I have been learning a lot from him. Only, this time, GianFranco returned to our table and explained to us that the owner required that we order two beers with our pizza. That was a bit odd, but we were hungry, so . . . OK. Afterwards Lisa confessed that she did not like beer. Well, I certainly did not need them after the free-flowing wine at the Charles Cecil Studios. But, you know, when in Roma . . . or Firenze . . .

Well, after all that drinking, it made sense that I would need to ask GianFranco to show me the bagno. He did and as I turned inside the room to shut the door, I saw him still standing where I left him. I asked him to speak, “Dimi.”

And GianFranco asked, “hai boys?” (“Do you have boys?”) Since we normally speak in Italian, my brain wanted to figure out what ‘boys’ meant in Italian. I responded with a confused, “non ho capito questo ‘boys.’” He rephrased, “Do you have men?” The plural threw me. For some reason, my often literally oriented mind interpreted this to mean ‘as in a stable of men.’ A little confused, I responded, “non.” He then politely said, “Ok, see you next week” since his shift was over.

Lisa thought this was the funniest exchange and asked me how I managed to have such bizarre conversations while just going about my life.

1 comment:

Kelly Borsheim said...

The follow-up: The next Thursday, Lisa and I returned to this restaurant as usual. GianFranco greeted us and told us that the place was unusually quiet because there was a game on (Italians love their soccer!) We ordered a pizza to share that was named after the moon, since the moon was full that night. He asked if we would like to drink the beer. No. "L'aqua?" "Non, GianFranco. Perche devo avere un altro cosa?" He responded, "Because this is a restaurant." "Allora, e dolci bene?" And so, Lisa and I ordered a tiramisu to split.

And when we left, we knew that we would not return. So, in Kelly's typical and graceful fashion, when I got up to put on my coat after dinner, I stood on the edge of my skirt and immediately fell on my elbow. Well, I suppose if they must remember me, they should have an accurage image of the full package! As my mother always joked with me when I was a child, "Grace Kelly strikes again!"

Now, Lisa and I have decided to forego our one night out on the town and instead spend one evening with her neighbor Rita, an Italian from Puglia. We will enjoy a dinner and movie -- speaking in listening to Italian to try to improve our language skills.