Wednesday 6 March 2013

An Italian anecdote

This is a story that happened to me in a bar specialised in foreign beers in Bergamo. A great place to be for a beer lover like me, as Italy has a rather poor variety of beers. I was with some Italian friends, they had chosen the place especially for me. And also because one of the Italians guys had grown a taste for Guinness and they were offereing it in draught and in pints. Which is a strange to drink in a hot Summer day in Italy. But Italians are often strange creatures, in their likes and dislikes. So my friend ordered a pint of Guinness and I thought I tried one of the many, many, many bottled beers on the menu. I ordered one, there was none of this, so the barmaid showed me another beer, a Belgian one I think. She asked simply: ''La Cuvée?'' And I said: ''That's all right.'' She looked at me as if I had said something very rude and asked, a bit sharply: ''Va bene?'' I quickly said: ''Si, va bene!'' which was as much as I could remember of Italian all of a sudden. Moral of the story: however limited is your knowledge of the local language in a foreign country, use it to the maximum of your capability. You will look and sound less stupid.

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