Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Why I'll Never Hook Up With An Italian Guy, Part 2
At the San Lorenzo street market, adjacent to the Medici Chapel, I was admiring the stalls of scarves and leather goods, Italian tchotchkes and hats as we took a shortcut to the Duomo. I had just put my camera back in my coat pocket and as I passed one young, scruffy ragazzo, he smiled sheepishly and uttered, "Ciao, bella."
I remember when I was a kid living in Naples that many southern Italians would forego the "buon" part of buongiorno (which means "good morning" or "good day"; on a side note, after lunch or pranza, you switch to buona sera, or "good evening," even though it's only about 2 pm...). Another thing I like to do is stretch out any "r" sound I have, rolling the "r"s and then just sort of hanging out on that syllable like I own it. And because Naples has such a mafioso rep, this sort of utterance is like the equivalent of wearing a full-on gold grill over my front teeth. Aw yeah. So I got all street on this dude and showed off my street cred, Napolitan style.
" 'giorrrrrrrno," I said, not pausing as we passed his stall.
"You dropped something!" he called.
Whiplash-like, I turned to look on the ground, which was clear. The guy smiled back. "My heart," he said in English, nodding.
"Oldest trick in the book," Christine said, shaking her head at me.