mercoledì 17 febbraio 2010

Bars e caffè

And the autogestione continues. I went into school for about an hour today, read Faulkner, and chatted with Fabrizio about grammar (Does the sentence "The question was asked to her" sound as weird to you as it does to me?). Doing very little tends to make me all sorts of hungry, and since I couldn't justify lunch at 10:30am, I headed to the bar around the corner for a cappuccino e brioche (I miss my sfoglia crema I used to get in Florence, Milan is all northern-European-y and frequently shuns my pastry of choice).

I walked in and said ciao to the barman, who always responds, "Ciao prof!" Then I heard "Ciao Rachel!". One of my students from the first two months was there, milling about in her raincoat and backpack. Her mother works the cash register. I immediately switched to English. During a short and terrified exchange half in English, half in Italian, she explained that the vice-principal had sent her class home early for the day. Then she helped me pick out my brioche. The barman whipped out a plate for my pastry and put my sugar in my cappuccino for me. When I finished, I went to pay, and I found out that my lovely student had paid for me. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I thanked her profusely in English (sweetie!) and headed on my way...

Bars are the best. Good things tend to happen in them. At Brother's Bar, the first bar I went to in Milan and where I go every time I tutor at the family's house, the two old barmen always seem so delighted to see me. They always ask me, "Come stai?" and when I respond bene, "Ah si vedo che stai bene," and then make some comment about being too old. At the bar near the school, the young barman knows what I get, knows what kind of sugar I like (grezzo), and always calls me prof. Returning for a visit to Florence with friends from study abroad, the barmen at our favorite cafè (TabacchiBar per sempre) not only were delighted to see us but bought us our coffee. It's one of my favorite parts of Italy, the ritual of ordering an itty bitty coffee and standing by the barman to down it in a minute or two, making a mess of crumbs and cream, eavesdropping on conversations, making friends...

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento