There’s a sandwich and pizza shop around the corner from us that’s always packed. Yesterday I decided to try it out. But unfortunately my Italian, which is rudimentary at best, gets much worse when my blood sugar is low. Plus there’s a certain amount of pressure that builds up as you’re waiting your turn in a busy lunch spot.
It was under these conditions that I clumbsily explained my request through a combination of Italian (10%), English (30%) and hand gestures (60%). The sign above the sandwich (panino) clearly said 1 Euro and 30 cents. But thanks to my extremely American communication style, I was charged 2 Euros. No matter. This happens often; tourists have a different rate. Once you get to know a place, become a regular or at least a fluent local, the prices magically come down. Except for today.
Back for more I ordered the same sandwich–in Italian–answered the 5 or so sandwich related questions–in Italian–but let a single “yes” slip. That was it. The man behind the counter actually repeated it quietly and almost playfully, “yes, yes, yes” as he took the panino from the deli case to the oven.
Then he charged me 2 Euros 40 cents.
Thank heavens that my language lessons start in January. Our bank account depends on it.