Hardly know where to start this sad tale.
I am still in "culture" shock over it. It's funny, yet, sad. Sad in a surprising way, and funny in a "this could be in a movie" way.
It all started the other evening when after dinner, my husband and I went to take a walk. We walked down our street, took a curve through the park in our neighborhood, and approaced the bar, where we decided to get our first ice cream bought in this bar this summer season.
Get this: outside the bar there were 7 men seated, playing cards.
Our neighborhood isn't too populated, and one of the men (I learned minutes later) my husband recognized as being the owner of the tobacco shop where they sell newspapers.
As we walked in, and the men were quietly giving us a stare-down, I said, politely and not wanting to interupt but to be polite and well-mannered "GOOD EVENING" ("buona sera").
What happened next was the shocker.
NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WAS SAID NEITHER BY MAN NUMBER ONE, NOR TWO, NOR THREE....UP TO SEVEN MEN, GROWN MEN, WHO HAD PROBABLY BEEN BROUGHT UP DECENTLY, BUT, FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, HAD TOTALLY FORGOTTEN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A HUMAN BEING! They had NO IDEA how to relate to your fellow man, or fellow woman.
SHOCKED, and very disappointed in mankind. Man "KIND"???? What KIND of person totally ignores a simple and kind greeting, and is this way of doing at all "KIND"?
The story continues........................
I went in, telling my disbelief to the owner of the bar, a lovely lady who joked about these men being a bit "rustic". She seemed to know them all too well. We smiled and laughed, and my shock and even a little anger began to melt, as my icecream did not, being that the evening wasn't really very warm. I sunk my teeth into the first bite as we continued to complain together about their unfriendliness.
I warned my husband that he should give the "buona sera" a try with the men, on our way out.
We walked out. My husband lightly said "Buona sera". The owner of the tobacco shop gave him a glance in the eyes. BUT NOTHING WAS SAID.
NOW, AND ONLY NOW, do I realize why it is useful to have an icecream to eat during these moments.
When you might slip and say something really rude, and it may be better not to.