Sunday, July 13, 2014

Two Unrelated Things

Well, unrelated except that they involve me.

I was waiting in line at the Wal-Marts ( I know that there are many who boycott the Wal-Mart, but when did other places stop carrying magazines? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE MAGAZINES???? Do you know what I look forward to doing when I summer in America? I like to have an icy cold IPA that I wouldn't find in Italy and I like to read American magazines that I wouldn't find in Italy. But I can't find American magazines in America either. Some of the magazines I have happened upon on the shelves are four months old. Have people simply stopped reading non-electronic versions of magazines? Because that would be a huge bummer for us all. And so as it turns out, the Wal-Mart is the lone place I have found where the latest issues of  magazines are re-stocked on a regular basis.)

and so, yes, I was waiting in line at the Wal-Marts and it would seem that patiently accepting and waiting in a long line in Italy is an experience that does not translate to America. Is it because there are so many cashiers and lanes open in American stores that the wait seems unnecessary? Is it because there is an overall need to hurry? Is it because we buy in such bulk here that comparatively every individual takes such a longer time to get checked out? Is it because we don't bag our own groceries? Is it because the woman in front of me was instructing the cashier where to put each of her 72 items? "No! Don't put the cheese in that bag!" she said. "Put the cheese in the bag with all the things that are yellow!"

"Oh! Okay!" replied the cashier. "I was putting it in with all the cold items." And so he took the cheese out of the bag filled with cold items and put it in the bag where all items were yellow.

"Well, I didn't know you were putting it in with the cold things. Okay. Put it back in the other bag, I guess."

In any other circumstance, my impatience would have gotten the better of me and I would have left the store rather than wait in line. But today was special because there were new magazines. So I waited. And seethed. I was unable and/or unwilling to put my hard-earned slow Italian pace of life enjoyment into practice. So we'll chalk that up as a fail on my part. And then when I got in the car, I thought the sports announcer on the radio was broadcasting the World Cup final and I turned up the volume but it was not the World Cup final, it was a Nascar race.

Yesterday my mom and I went to get pedicures. We like to go to a place that happens to be owned and operated by women from Vietnam. When one Vietnamese woman asked me a question in broken English, I answered her in broken Italian. Because if I can sort of understand what someone is saying to me but there is still a language barrier, my brain apparently thinks I'm in Italy. And this happened every single time I spoke with any of the non-native American women in the salon. So it was not unlike being in Italy because I was speaking what I think passes for Italian but no one could understand me.

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