Sometimes It’s Easier in English

Just before I went back to the UK for a week's holiday at my Mum's last Thursday I went to the local hairdresser for some age-defying highlights. 

I'm lucky in that our Italian village has its own hairdresser, Laura, who is great and used to my odd foreign ways. I first went there accompanied by Mikey the little terrier we rescued and he sat in the shop while I had my hair cut and Laura just accepted this oddity with her usual aplomb.

That day I also met her husband Carlo who had popped in for a haircut too. No-one speaks English so the conversation was totally in Italian. I asked him where he worked. 'Lavoro al cimentiera' he said.

    'You know in England we put people in the ground, we don't put them in the walls,' I informed him, keen to show off my knowledge of Italian cemeteries, where they do indeed put people in the walls.

'Really?' he said, looking somewhat bewildered by the turn the conversation had taken.

'We live near the cementeria,' I said by way of explanation.

'No Fiona, you live near the cimitero,' said Laura, snipping away. 'Carlo works in the cement factory.'

I am used to making howlers in Italian, it used to bother me, but now I just laugh and move on.  So when I saw Carlo again on my latest visit, accompanied by their new puppy, I was keen to show off my canine knowledge and increasing fluency. (I actually do speak pretty good Italian!) Their puppy was going through the biting stage and I wanted to tell them to make a high pitched sound when it bites you to make it stop.

'You know when puppies play together they bite?' I said using the verb 'muorono' for 'bite'

He looked at me. 'Mordono,' he said with a laugh.

Oh God! ' I said.  'Yes, mordono, of course!'

It appeared the cemetery mistake had affected me more than I thought and I had now told him that when puppies play, they die!  

Sometimes it's hard being a foreigner!


  1. thanks for the smile today

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