An unexpected happening

An unexpected happening

It should have been nice but he just wouldn’t talk about what I wanted to hear about. Instead he’s boring me to death with photos of restaurants that I’ll probably never go to and castles and churches and stuff.

What I wanted to hear about was his feelings about how it went. His relationship with M, his relationship with M’s parents, etc. But he was reticent (which makes me think that there’s more to it, of course.)

So I was bored (a bit – it’s not fair to say it was terrible – anyway, we were having a few pints which is always a good thing and he had only come back from his holidays a few hours before and he is really into the photography thing so it’s fair enough.)

We were at Bar Blanco, just across the piazza near our flat. It is one of the few bars open at the moment (most open next week when everyone is back.) It’s renowned as a place that gay people go to. It’s not a “gay bar” as such but a lot of gay people go there – mainly the younger, hipper ones.

I noticed a guy stood up near our table. He had the most dreadful shorts on. Or they looked dreadful on him anyway. He was reasonably tall, slim body, a half-grown hipster-style beard and he was probably in his mid-thirties. These details I noticed later. The only details I did notice were these dreadful shorts. I am unable to explain to you why they were so dreadful. They looked like “little boy” shorts being worn by a grown man.

I went to interrupt the photo show by telling A that this guy had the most dreadful shorts on when I saw the guy looking at me.

The next thing and he was flouncing behind A (so directly in front of me), between the tables, then round behind me and back to where he started. And, out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was staring at me. He was actually hitting on me!

Of course, I told A, adding “unless he’s hitting on you?” It was my little joke. I then added “but that’s unlikely.” A responded that he hoped he wasn’t but, secretly, maybe, he was a bit jealous? ;-)

Anyway, although I wasn’t (am not) interested as I have F, it gave me something of a thrill and some delight that, at my very advanced age, a guy of under 40 should actually be hitting on me!

Soon afterwards, we left. A walked me to my flat even though his car, blocked in by a Ferrari, was parked right by the pub. Afterwards, I wondered if A was going back to see if it was really him that the guy was hitting on (not really …….. maybe?)

Hello. Goodbye.

He texts me to say that the dogs were exhausted (destroyed, as he says) when he left for work.

He had taken them out for a walk and he lets them play, even in the extreme temperatures that we’ve been having (up to 36° with a “feel like” of the low 40s). But he had taken them out early, so it wasn’t so hot (still, it was 30° at 7.30).

He said they were so exhausted that they didn’t even say hello to him before he left for work.

Italians have a bit of a problem with “hello” and “goodbye” since they don’t differentiate. Salutare, ciao, salve, etc. are used for both hello and goodbye. They don’t really quite get (I’m SURE Chiara does ;-) ) when is the right time to use “hello” or “goodbye”.

As a default “hello” is used.

I try and explain, in a reply text that he should have said “goodbye” and not “hello” as “hello” is used when first meeting/seeing someone and “goodbye” is used when leaving.

However, F is a stubborn barsteward sometimes. He replied that he understood but that, if the dogs don’t see him for 2 seconds it is like the first time they have met. Which is, of course, kind of true.

And it made me laugh. And that’s why I love him.

I replied that he is the only person that will argue with me if I try to correct bad English – and I don’t often do it with him!

But the argument did have a point, as those of you with dogs will know.

The video of Hello Goodbye by The Beatles was the obvious choice :-)

This is the Endy ……. and other Italian/English things.

I don’t and can’t get upset about it.

F’s Mum has a problem with my name and it’s become a bit of a joke within the family. Even though she has been corrected a number of times, she still calls me Wendy. It makes me laugh and I thought it was only her but it seems not.

M, as I mentioned in a previous post, booked tables in the two restaurants for me. As she booked the table, in both cases, she told them that it was Andy with a “y” (ipsilon), just to be clear.

For Griffone, the table was, indeed, reserved. There was a handwritten note on the table with my name. Except it wasn’t quite my name – it was, in fact, written as Endy.

It made me smile.

On the differences between the language, Italians (those who know something of English) realise that adding “ly” to an adjective creates an adverb. So quick becomes quickly, horrible becomes horribly, etc.

Except, of course, for exceptions. One of these exceptions is “hard”, especially used in situations where you mean “a lot” – like work.

It makes me laugh to read “I was working hardly” when what they mean is “I was working hard” :-) But it’s not really their fault – the rule is well and truly broken for this word.

And, of course, there are those words that we use that have more than one meaning – except that, the meanings don’t always coincide – making them, somewhat, “false friends”. If you say that someone is/seems miserable you mean (quite clearly) that they are/seem unhappy, sad, etc.

Unfortunately, miserabile, in Italian, when used to describe a person, is something like low-life or wretch. Not quite the same thing.

The end of a rather peculiar week.

It has been a rather peculiar week, to be honest.

Ask me to put my finger on it and I can’t. There are so many half-written posts about things I found strange (but in reality weren’t that strange) or things that got me a bit miffed (drivers, dog shit, other people’s stupidity, etc.). At times I’ve felt as though I was somewhere else, some other-worldness.

And it’s been cold. Like winter, which, as you know, I hate. And there’s wind, making it seem much, much colder.

I got a bit drunk the other night. I’ve been teaching English, except not nearly as much as was planned but I might have another student, maybe. And then, before M was due to come (but didn’t because he finished work late but he’s going to pay me anyway), S texted asking if I can do lessons over the weekend. Very strange. She hasn’t been for a lesson since Christmas and then, suddenly, last night, ‘Can you do a lesson at the weekend?’. When I suggested either Saturday or Sunday afternoon, she plumped for Sunday afternoon – but then added that maybe she could do Saturday as well! Two lessons in two days after a couple of months of nothing? The only thing that crosses my mind is that she has a new boyfriend and, maybe, he’s English or American or Australian or something? I am, as you may be able to tell, intrigued. She has led a rather strange life.

I got home last night to see that my bedroom had been changed. A little. It seems I have been given a connection to next door by means of two new holes. To be honest, the first thing I noticed was plaster on top of the chest of drawers whereupon my first thought was ‘Shit! I guess the ceiling is coming down'; the plaster work in Italy seeming to be really crap. And, yes, some of the plaster was down but not from the ceiling. From a couple of holes, fairly high up on the wall. This wasn’t some crappy plasterwork but, rather, because someone had been drilling and inserted some sizable bolts from the other side!

My second thought was that I could go and get the hammer and punch the screw/bolt back through. That would mean, of course, that whatever was being held up on the other side might fall down. But I didn’t do that. I’m not quite that mischievous! But the thought made me smile.

Apart from a thought of ‘what the fuck?’ when I first saw the holes, I am, as usual, fairly relaxed about it all. After all, it’s only a wall and someone can come and fix it. It’s not really that big a deal. In fact, it’s quite amusing.

So, apart from the lesson (or lessons) over the weekend, we have no plans. F is going to Germany next week so there will be a lot of preparation that needs to be done and a ‘beauty farm’, as he calls it. This means that, invariably, I won’t see him that much over the weekend. However, I’m hoping that I can convince him to go to the cinema to see The Kings Speech which, now I’ve seen it in English, I really want to see in Italian (see, I told you it was a peculiar week :-D ). Anyway, the weather forecast says it will be a bit brighter than of late and, much more importantly, warmer. Not warm enough, of course, but warmer is better than colder.

And, did I tell you that I have booked our week in the agriturismo for August? The same place as last year. We’ve ‘been going to do it’ since Christmas but then things have happened and we never got round to it. And, then, recently F was so stressed. So I rang them up a couple of days ago and booked it. I was a bit nervous about doing it in case F didn’t really want to go (even if he had been saying that he really wanted to). Anyway, it seems it was the right thing to do and F seemed very happy that I had done it. I know what he’s like when he’s stressed at work and, I suppose, as time goes on, I shall be able to do more of this kind of stuff.

And I must remember to buy a couple of work shirts. There are some at a shop round the corner for €6! Seems a bit of a bargain to me – and they’ll only be for work anyway. And get some soap. And relax a bit as this week, with all the bits and pieces going on, I have been a tad busy.

And you? Are you doing something slightly more exciting than me (which, to be honest, wouldn’t be difficult :-) )?

I’m learning a new language

Well, you might say “of course you are” but it’s not quite what you think.

I’m having various conversations with a girl who’s about 14.  Don’t get the wrong idea here – it’s not a bad thing.  She is the daughter of Best Mate.  And the conversation is the sort of general conversation that one would have with the teenage daughter of your Best Mate – except for one thing – it’s via Facebook and so is more like texting or chatting online.

And, as she’s 14, although she uses English it’s not quite the English that I write here.  And on more than one occasion I have had to ask Best Mate what a certain word or acronym means.

Because, let’s face it, I am old.  I remember mobile phones when they first came in and were almost as big as a small briefcase.  And the first portable computer was like a laptop – but the screen was a normal screen that you had to carry separately.  So, texting and chatting online requires that I learn a different language.

Some examples would be soz.  This is short for sorry.  Said is written sed.  How gets the ‘h’ dropped off the front.

All these things make remarkable sense.  However, I do find it difficult to do this.  I’ve just about mastered using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ and ‘r’ instead of ‘are’ but I don’t even do that all the time, so writing ‘i sed i wuz soz’ I would still be writing as ‘I said I was sorry’ – even in text form, even going to the trouble of making the ‘i’ a capital.

And, in addition, I text Italians.  For me it is almost unthinkable as an ex English Teacher to write the short form.  The best I can do with F is to write ‘cos’ instead of ‘because’ (and even with that, the first time I did, he asked what it meant).

English is a wonderful, rich language (although the Italians always think theirs is better and richer – and, being a guest in their country I would not disagree – at least in front of them) but having been with V’s family (many of whom are first-generation from Jamaica), I became very aware of the the fact that there is no really ‘pure’ English.  It’s all bastardised all over the world.  Even here they take words and give them slightly different meanings (e.g. relax, which they don’t use verb even when it should be in the context in which they use it).

And so, this new form of English, widely used (I guess) by most English people (maybe even English-speaking people) under the age of, let’s say, 30 – where will it end up?  In 20 years will the common spelling of ‘said’ be ‘sed’ and ‘sorry’ be ‘soz’ – at least in the UK?

Every language changes over time but I suspect new technology and the need to type words on keyboards, touch pads and keypads could accelerate the changes to the language.  And since I know the same thing happens here (‘che’ becomes ‘k’, ‘per’ becomes ‘x’), I wonder if all languages are now under some pressure to change to meet the growing need of the younger generations to be able to communicate in ways that we never even imagined when we were at school.

Just a thought.