Well, we're leaving for Italia early tomorrow morning. It'll be our first time there and our last major trip before little baby boy comes so we are prepared to enjoy ourselves. We are NOT prepared, however, to speak to people in their native tongue. It's kind of one of those things that got lost along the way as this day slowly approached. We've hit the dock where our boat will sail and I pat my pockets and ask Jamie "did I give you the... basic Italian comprehension?" and she looks at me and says "NO, you didn't!" And then I go back and retrace our steps, picking up little scraps of travel information we dropped on the road, hoping and praying it will be where I assume I must have dropped it.
Ooo, ooo, is that it?
-No. Just the average summer precipitation for Sora.
Wait, what about that? That has to be it!
-Nah, that's just the History Channel dvd on Roman architecture.
So then my feet tire from retracing our steps and I hurry back to the dock as the boat's engine is firing up. Jamie's already on board. Too late to go back and find our ability-to-understand-Italian-language now.
So, I've been thinking a lot about the ramifications of our failure to linguistically prepare. And I'm also well aware that we'll be going in high-tourist season. And that may be a comfort to some, blending in with the crowds and staying safe beneath the wings of foreign culture. But I can't help but feel a bit depressed that there's a greater chance of us being dismissed as typical American tourists. Ehhhhh.
So my plan, then, to avoid this shameful stereotype, is to lay low, take the side streets, and pretend I'm mute. That's right. My ignorance of this language will only convincingly be concealed by my refusal to let ANY sounds come out of my mouth. I'll just smile a lot and look upwards avoiding eye contact, as though I'm enjoying the birds or the roofs of buildings. In shops or restaurants I'll draw pictures of what I'd like with a smiley face at the bottom. It will be charming. No, no. It will. And if I'm good enough maybe I'll even hear "What a charming mute Canadian."