"Dimmi in Italiano. Dimmi in Italiano. Per favore," I pleaded once again with her as I tried desperately to work my way through understanding her needs. Of course. OfCourseOfCourseOfCourse, she absolutely refused to switch to Italian and explain herself. Instead, she continued in English, in a sing-song, whining voice which was quickly turning to Mamma!-You-are-the-mamma-why-can't-you-just-help-me-please? Just as always seems to be the case, the Italian eyes in the tiny shop on Via Nicolò Vicentino were piercing my very being. Have you ever had them on you? Real or imagined, they are never a good thing, these piercing eyes . . . trust me.
It started with an innocent stop after school at a local sporting goods store to pick up an extra physical education t-shirt and possibly a pair of shorts. I prepared in advance by locating the shop with my smart phone app and ensuring that I had small bills in my wallet, a must for a visit to a small store in this country. Small bills and small shops belong together. This task brought about no big flag on my radar screen, no Oh-my-goodness-can-I-figure-this-out? fears. I can navigate myself well enough in this foreign culture, this foreign land to be able to pick up a t-shirt without coincidence.
Or can I?
I'll let you know soon. Right now I'm headed out to pick her up from a play date with a classmate. I should be able to navigate this too . . . we'll see.
(Dimmi in Italiano. = Tell me in Italian.)