So far today has been absolutely glorious, and it's taken me completely by surprise. Truth be told, I was geared up for the worst, as my first mission this morning was to go to the bank. The bank here is always my undoing. Something that you think would be so easy just isn't here, because of the language barrier.
Yes, I've been studying Italian. But as much studying as I've done still doesn't make me fluent, or even close to fluent. I understand well, also read and write fairly well, but the my own conversation is frustratingly not so hot.
So, today at the bank, I decided to speak only in Italian. Even if I had no idea what was going on, I was going to try to muddle through. The gods were smiling down on me, because the whole transaction happened smoothly, and I even got a "Buona giornata" as I was leaving.
Having had such a positive experience, combined with it being an absolutely gorgeous morning, I decided I would head to the Rialto to pick up some things for dinner. I hopped on the #1 vaporetto at Piazzale Roma, and got a seat at the front of the boat even. There is nothing better than to be going down the Grand Canal on a beautiful sunny day, on the front of a boat. Thank you, God.
At the Rialto Mercato stop, I left the vaporetto, heading first to the fish market. After taking a quick look around, I decided on some fresh tuna, at the stall of one of the fish mongers over on the side of the street, one I've shopped at before. I asked for what I wanted, and we even had a little discussion on how big a piece I needed. He sliced off a piece, showed me, weighed it, and then told me what the bill was. I decided I also wanted some shrimp. At the end he even did a little math for me adding the two together to get a new total, all in Italian!
Next stop was the vegetable stall next door. I asked for mixed greens, cucumber, tomatoes, zuccini flowers, lemons and red pepper. Of course, they do this one item at a time when you are shopping at the outdoor market. After each item, the vendor will ask "Dopo?", meaning, what do you want next. As I was finishing up, the woman behind the vegetables asked me where I was from. I decided to continue my conversation in my halting, embarrassing Italian, I explained I was American,and now Italian, living here in Venice. She smiled and told me to come back often, so we could practice speaking more! Made my day!