I had one of those experiences at the grocery store today that is re-motivating me to work on my (currently very limited) Italian. It started in produce. I grabbed a cantaloupe because I picked up some prosciutto earlier in the week and thought we’d enjoy them together. How Italian!
I weighed the melon and got a sticker. This is a big difference between European (at least German and Italian) grocery stores and those back home. I learned this the hard way, my first trip to a Germany grocery store when the clerk yelled at me for not doing it. Even though that was over 10 years ago, I have since been hyper-vigilant on always weighing my produce.
We make it to check out. Henry refuses to relinquish the melon. No biggie. I peel it off and hand the guy the sticker. But I can tell right away there is an issue. He tells me it is the wrong sticker. This is for the bigger melon, not the little one. He says he’ll wait while I go fix it.
Everything the clerk said was in Italian. I may have missed some nuances, but I’m pretty sure I got it. Context clues helped greatly on this one. But I am hopeful that comprehension is not completely hopeless.
But I couldn’t think of a single word in Italian to respond. Some of it was the “deer in headlights” aspect of it. But a lot of it was just my lack of Italian. I have thought of a few things to say after the fact, but not too many.
I’m not beating myself up over it, but I’d like to do better next time. And so back to Duolingo I go. And then other Italian courses. And hopefully lining up a tutor before too long. Italian language prep fell by the wayside around the time Mac was born. Now, I’m on it.