Friday, February 11, 2011


When you walk into a place of business in Italy, either large or small, the first thing you do is say "Buon giorno" and the last thing you say when you leave is "Grazie mille" or "Buona giornata" or some kind of farewell greeting before you go back out into the world.  In particular in places where folks know you, you can easily spend a good half hour before doing anything you intended to do on your visit into the store, and I remember fondly a bar on our street (the Italian cafe', no liquor, just goooood coffee), one of the owners, Marco, who waved his arms around and yelled, OH CIAO!!!!! each time we entered.  He knew exactly what we wanted, and then there would be discussions about life, the weather, the last soccer game, or whatever came to mind.

Here, invece (on the other hand), it takes days, weeks, months, who knows (quote from my favorite lonely donkey Eeyore), to maybe get lucky enough to strike up a conversation with someone in the store.  The occasional barber (one of the last nods to local business) or maybe the librarians (more on public libraries and their awesomeness in a bit), or often I find that folks who were not born in the US are in this same way, and used to waving hands around and yelling, WELL HEY THERE!

Not to say that yanks aren't friendly.  It's just well they keep their distance a bit....what do you think?

Oh yea, CIAO!

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