Thursday, May 31, 2007

You think I know, but I have no idea

Were I younger, I think I could star in a version of MADE: I want to be Italian.

I've been improving and people have been complimenting my language skills lately. I thought I was finally blending in until an Italian guy at my hostel in Ischia told me he'd never in a million years believe that I was Italian.

"Why?" I said. "Because I have blue eyes?"

"No," he said. "It's the way that you walk, your clothes, everything about you."

I felt bad for a while, sitting there, wallowing in my unmistakable Americanism, but then I thought, why, if this is true, do so many Italians ask me for directions?

Does this bus stop at the port?
I don't know.
Does a guy named Giacomo live on this street?
I don't know.
How do I get to Torre Di Maria?
I don't even know what that is!

Clearly, I look as Italian as the next person, so it's not my walk or my clothes that are giving me away. Maybe it's the 50-pound backpack strapped to my back. HMMMM

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