Always useful when traveling.
It’s always fun to go to the local grocery stores when you’re on vacation in another country. I make sure to bring my camera each time. On the most recent Italian trip, I noticed the names of food in the pet aisle. It’s always interesting to see what other countries use as names for cat food. Here were 2 of my favorites:
Of course, I have yet to find a country to beat the greatest Swedish cat food name of all:
(Side note: Unfortunately, by the time we got a cat, the company became aware and changed its name.)
I’ve been practicing Italian on an online language service for our upcoming trip to Italy. I’m glad this service teaches me the important phrases I’m definitely going to be using when talking to people on our trip.
On the podcast about expats in Sweden today, we talk to a couple of Italians, mainly about food of course, but also about language and some great summer tips in Stockholm!
Available anywhere you get your podcast by just typing “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow”
or at these links:
iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y4oo8zz9
Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y4kxw4qj
Podtoppen – https://tinyurl.com/y6xntddl
Why does renting a car have to be such a procedure? If we already booked the car and filled in all of our information on the computer, why do we still have to fill it out AGAIN on paper once we get to the rental counter? Isn’t that what the computer was for? Check my license and give me my keys!
That’s just a general rant about every time we rent a car. In Italy, you can imagine how slow the paperwork is, mostly because they are marking all the damages that are ALREADY on the vehicle.
After being talked into a good deal for full coverage insurance on our rental car (and taking 15 minutes to fill out paperwork that was already in the computer), we made our way to the garage to pick up the car. Knowing that they don’t always mark every dent and scratch, we checked the car and found two scratches to report so that we would not be responsible once we were done with the car.
My husband went to report the scratches to the attendant, who was very reluctant to move from his chair. He took a look at the paperwork, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Is no problem. Who cares? You have full coverage. Run the car into a wall if you like.”
Our motto for the rest of the trip, while driving down narrow streets full of potholes was “Oh well – FULL COVERAGE!”
I looked up reviews on a children’s activity park in Italy, but everything was in Italian so I had to use Google Translate. I don’t know why this person only gave this place 2 stars. It sounds pretty interesting!
I do a few lessons each day on the Rosetta Stone program in Italian. Today, my problem is not necessarily with the language, but with this situation:
- A man comes in to buy a new TV.
- The salesman asks why he needs a new TV. This is the first indication that something is wrong. A salesman would never ask WHY you need a new TV. He would ask WHICH KIND you want.
- The man says he needs a new TV because his old one is broken. Where do I start? Do I start with the fact that this guy is holding a TV with 2 knobs made in the 1980s, while there are obviously flat screens behind him, which would mean he has been using this 1980s TV for about 30 years? Also, I don’t even think those type of TVs have worked for several years now that everything is digital.
But what troubles me most of all is….. WHO BRINGS THEIR BROKEN TV TO THE STORE TO BUY A NEW TV?! Why would you bring that in the store??!!!
I’m very much hoping that as I get further along in the program, this story will continue. Is he a time traveler? Did he escape from a mental institution? Does the salesman call security? Guess I’ll have to keep learning Italian to get the whole story.
While we were in Italy, we heard the news about the Chicago Cubs World Series win on the radio. Of course, it took us a while to figure it out since the Italian announcer congratulated the “Chicago Cubes.”
I like to travel with my family to Italy twice a year, so I study at least two lessons a day on my Italian Rosetta Stone program. It’s a great program, but sometimes I get too involved in the attitudes and lives of the people in the pictures.
Example in the pictures below:
These people greet each other (they look like they’re on a date), then the girl asks the guy how he’s doing.
He says he’s fine and asks her how she’s doing.
She says she’s COLD!
Then they go to the performance and then say goodnight. She has no extra jacket on.
So in my eyes, this guy is a jerk and didn’t even respond when she complained that she was cold. Where’s the panel where he offers a jacket or rushes her inside to the warmth? It’s like he just ignores her and then dumps her at the end of the performance back on the cold street.
I’m waiting for more advanced lessons when there will be more panels that teach me how to say, “You’re a jerk.” “Why aren’t you listening?” “Give me my money back!” “This show is terrible!”
But that’s probably more around level 15. For now, I’m stuck on bad Italian dates.
This was in our local grocery store while we were in Italy:
I’m trying to learn Italian at home with the Rosetta Stone program. Rosetta Stone is a great program for learning languages because it covers listening, writing, reading and speaking, though the speaking part isn’t really so great.
The trouble with speaking on Rosetta Stone (at least on my computer) is that the microphone and tone sounds are very tricky so I often have to repeat myself several times before the program accepts that I’ve said the phrase correctly. So this is how it generally goes:
Loro hanno un cavallo. (They have a horse.)
Loro hanno un cavallo.
LORO HANNO UN CAVLLO!
LORO HANNO UN CAVALLO! LORO HANNO UN CAVALLO! AAAAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
Please note that when the weather is warm here, I have the balcony door open as do the neighbors. I’m pretty sure they’re wondering about the Italian woman in the apartment who is always screaming about horses or apples.
I decided to start listening to an Italian language podcast called “My Daily Phrase.” Why Italian you ask? Because we need a third language when we want to talk about people.
I’ve been studying important Italian phrases on the Rosetta Stone language program. Today’s lesson irritated me a bit. Let me translate:
“I need a new umbrella.
WHY do you need a new umbrella?
Because my umbrella is broken.”
Oh, I don’t think I need to learn that last line. If I’m standing out in the rain getting soaked asking someone for an umbrella and they ask me WHY, my response is going to be a slap to the face.
Also, this would never happen in Italy. I was approached 12 times in one hour by people trying to sell me umbrellas in Florence when there was a slight drizzle.
I’ve been looking through the job bank at opportunities for one of my Italian friends looking for a new job. I noticed that when I look for an English speaking job, it’s mostly call centers and teaching (I guess we like to talk). But when I look up jobs for my Italian friend, all the ads are for food or wine experts. Even the job ads are biased. I’ve really got to learn more Italian so I can get paid to rate wine all day.