Lunch Date with Daughters From the Fruit Stand

Trip Start Jan 11, 2007
Trip End Jan 15, 2010

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Flag of Italy  ,
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today I received a hug and kiss from the Papa and the oldest daughter at the fruit stand, and an invitation to lunch tomorrow at their house. I think it was because I brought them a small gift to say I was sorry for being a little rude on Tuesday night, and because I showed some emotion and told them what nice, good-hearted people they are.

Tuesday night I stopped by the fruit stand to buy a few things, and when the Papa told me the price of my items, I was so excited to comprehend what he said, I grabbed a pen off the counter and proudly wrote the amount for him. I must have written on a special kind of paper, because he made a face that said I had done something wrong. I immediately felt bad and thought, oops. I shouldn't have been so direct and grabby with the pen, so American, and forceful. I am only a guest in their neighborhood, trying my best to be a "good neighbor" which means being sensitive to culture differences that I don't always understand. What if it was a special paper that cost a lot to print and they paid a heavy tax for it, and I recklessly scribbled 7.70 Euro on it? The government here taxes all kinds of strange things like legal-sized paper. Maybe the paper was expensive and cannot be wasted. I wanted to apologize, so today I brought a small gift for them, some pens and office supplies, and two kinds of notepads to keep at the cash register for dopes like me who want to scribble a note. They are the nicest family, and my goal is to eventually speak or write enough Italian to tell them how much I appreciate them, their honesty, and the cheerful way they treat those of us who are new to this country. You don't always find that in everyone you meet, no matter where you travel.
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