I have now been in Spoleto a week and am fairly comfortable wandering around the twists and turns of its steep and narrow streets without getting lost. Once again, I am on a little bit of a time crunch, but I wanted to give some of my impressions of this lovely Italian town.
The Spoletini (that’s what you call the natives) are incredibly friendly and warm. They don’t mind it a bit when you butcher their language while talking to them; they are just happy you are trying to speak Italian, unlike the other brutti Americani who think that if they speak English slowly and loudly, the Italians will understand them. I managed to purchase an international prepaid SIM card for my cell phone all by myself and entirely in Italian. The shopkeeper didn’t speak a lick of English, and I had forgotten to put my Italian-English dictionary in my bag, so we communicated with lots of hand gestures (the polite kind) and writing numbers down on paper.
Some of the shopkeepers, especially once they get to know you, will gently correct your grammar if you get it wrong, which I really appreciate, because I am in a constant state of absorption and learning while I am here. The other night, I was trying to get the check, and instead of saying, “il conto, per favore” (the bill, please), I thought I’d change it up by saying, “posso pagare?” (may I pay?). Unfortunately, I had had several glasses of wine, and I ended up saying, “posso piagare?” (may I whip?). Luckily for me, the waitress brought the bill. I hope she wasn’t scared of me.
Well, my time is up, and I must go to rehearsal now. I am hoping to write much more while I am here, because there is just so much that I am experiencing, and I just don’t want to forget a single thing!