Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Italia-no

I am exhausted. After waiting in an aiport lounge full of Italians, travelling in an airplane full of Italians, then riding a bus full of Italians, I am back in merry old Frenchay hospital.
Now don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against Italians. They are a lovely people. Lively and loud and who doesn't like that when you're sleep deprived, have a headache and wedged in a Ryanair airplane seat?
Man. Why do people think that the Italian language is so lovely? "Like an aria", people say. If 'aria' is Italian for 'machine gunfire on a set of cymbals' then perhaps yes. But I'm guessing that's not what it means. I should really invest in an Italian-English dictionary. Mama mia.
Ok, so I'm ranting mainly because of one Italian guy I met. Who just happened to be one of the first Italian people I came across when I arrived in Milan.
So there I am, just having gotten off the shuttle bus from the aiport and am standing outside the Stazione Centrale - the main railyway hub of Milan. The exterior of the station is boarded up with scaffolding and planks of wood, and is itself fairly quiet for a Saturday afternoon - only a few taxi drivers are milling about looking for passengers. One of these taxi drivers approaches me. "Tassi?" he asks.
"Non," I reply. I had planned to walk to the hostel myself. The estimated time was 28 minutes. The taxi driver still pesters me a bit, asking me where I'm going and what not. I don't fully understand him because I don't know Italian, but somehow I must have let on I know French because he starts speaking to me in really bad French. So I decide to ask him for directions in French. He points me in the right direction and I thank him. He smiles and asks me again whether I'm sure I don't need a lift.
"I'm fine, I'll walk." I say.
But then it strikes me that a 28 minute walk doesn't seem like fun anymore. And that I'd rather take the metro. So I go back to the taxi driver and ask him where the entrance to the train station is in French. Now, the taxi driver is talking to his mate. His mate is a jerk. He comes up to me and starts going "Shir shir shir". I'm like, are you suffering from a speech impediment or something? Anyway, the first taxi driver points to a place pass the scaffolding where the main entrance is. But this stupid jerk mate of his keeps going, "Shir shir shir". Then he says to me, "Do you speak English?" And I look him square in the eye and say, "Yes, I do."
Then he says to me, get this, he says, "I speak chinese: 'shir shir shir'."
Ok. So now you can imagine why I'm really pissed off.
What the hell is wrong with these people? First of all I speak near perfect French to the other taxi driver. Then I say in perfect English that I can speak English. Then this idiot has to go and offend my goddamn heritage. What the hell is wrong with these ignorant, racist pricks?
I mean, seriously. You wouldn't catch me going up to some random Italian and saying, "I can speak Italian: 'mama mia! pizza pasta ferarri bella leggos mama mia!'"whilst gesticulating wildly and kissing them hard on the cheeks.
God, people annoy me. So anyway, I gave him the dirtiest look, turned and headed off towards the train station entrance. I heard the first taxi driver, the nice one, tell his friend off. At least that taxi driver was alright.
Man, and if I had a euro cent for everytime I was called "Japanese"! Geez. But that's for another blog. But I mean seriously, you think I'm Japanese after I speak to you in English in an Australian accent? Go figure.

1 comment:

Winston said...

That's hillarious. Funny stuff Edwin - and thanks for the Murder She Wrote pic.