We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Karen by any other name....

A few weeks ago, I noticed I was hearing quite a lot of "Ciao, Mike" being yelled out as we walked around the city. Shopkeepers, baristas, gondoliers, fish mongers- they are all shouting greetings to my husband. I love that we are feeling like part of the neighborhood, however, truth be told, I was a little jealous that I wasn't hearing "Ciao, Karen" as often.

Shortly after this, Mike and I were in a local cafe in Campo Santa Margherita a little after lunch when our local fish mongers walked in for a drink. First thing they yelled when they stepped through the door was "Ciao, Mike!"  When they approached our table, I asked them their names. I don't know why, but after all this time, neither Mike nor I knew them. They introduced themselves as Paolo, Riccardo and Gianni. In return, I told them my name is Karen. Paolo says back "Carol".  Mike and I both said, "No, it's KAREN".  "Oh, Ok,... Carol", Paolo returned.  We gave up.

Every time I pass through Campo Santa Margherita since that afternoon, Paolo yells out "Ciao, Carol!". Even if I am just turning the corner, way down the campo, he lets out a loud "Ciao, Carol".   We've tried correcting him, but to him, I am Carol, no matter what.

This morning, as I made my way to the vaporetto at Ca'Rezzonico the campo was still relatively empty, with just the vegetable and fish mongers setting up. When Paolo looked up and saw me coming, he yelled out "Ciao, Carol!  I snapped a photo just as he started singing "Carol, Carol, Carol.....". Really, he was singing. I wish I had thought to record him!

I smiled the whole rest of my walk to the vaporetto, and the Cheers theme song came to mind,
"You want to go where everybody knows your name" .  I'm there. 


The Dublin Diarist said...

A very nice story Carol... :)

Rob C said...

Is it the hard EN that's difficult to pronounce in Italian maybe?

Carol is not so bad.


Andrew said...

Get him to sing Neil Sedaka's 'Oh Carol'and pay attention to the second line - 'I am such a fool'!

Susie L said...

We only get to spend 3 weeks at a time in Venice, but just love that feeling of being a local and greeted by name or waved at!

Very fun post Carol, oops I mean Karen!

Michelle said...

If we remember when you were in the hospital and rehab they didn't call you Karen either.
But they have named you.
I would be as delighted as I'm sure you are.