Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Italians and Vietnamese

When I was a junior in college I dated a girl from a very Italian family.  Her parents names were Florence and Rio, how Italian is that??

Her family did not live that far from mine and I was easily able to see her during school breaks and if we went home for the weekend.  When I went over there, there was one activity that I was required to participate in.  Eating.  That what they do in that house.  I'm not complaining, her mom was a really good cook and everything was always fantastic.  

I remember one time I visited.  When I arrived her father was in his garage working on something and I was hanging out in the kitchen.  He walked in to the house and saw me there.

Rio: Hey. When did you get here?
Me: Hi.  About 10 minutes ago.
Rio: Did you get something to eat?
Me: No thanks, I'm not hungry.
Rio: Are you sick?
Me: No.
Rio: Florence!  Get this boy something to eat (as he walked out of the room). 

Tonight I went to see T.  I met him at his office just after 8:00.  We hung out at his office for more than an hour while he finished up some work.  While I would prefer he focus all his attention on me, but I understand he is swamped and has stuff he has to get done.

I knew it would be late when we left his office so before I left home, so I ate dinner with my kids.  When we finally got back to his house it was pushing 10:00.  T and his family were starving and they were snacking even as the table was being set.

I got offered things a few times and I politely refused saying I had already eaten.  As I perched on a stool at the breakfast bar with a class of ice water, T's mom spoke to me in her broken, but understandable English.

T's mom: Jim!  Do you want something to eat?
Me: No Thank you.  I ate with the kids before I left.
T's mom:  What time?
Me: Around 6:00.
T's mom:  It's 10:00 now. 
Me: I guess I could have a snack

So I sat down at the table and sampled most of the stuff on the table, including a Vietnamese squash soup.  I did not try the blood sausage, but I tried most everything else.

I had a good time.  I don't know what they are talking about much of the time, but they switched over to English enough that I was able to follow along sometimes.  T was rubbing my leg with his foot under the table and I was happy to be there.


T said...

We took pitty on you when we switched to English. :))) Should have learned VN like...almost 4 years ago. You learned Italian for a GIRL!!!

jim said...

I will take pity when I can get it.