Humor from on High

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tales From the Bus (cont.)

Today in the very front of the bus there were two older people, one male and one female, speaking animatedly in a foreign language that I'm 83.4% sure was Italian. My college friend Jordan has this theory that Italians are happy because they speak Italian. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe he thinks that Italian is a happy language because Italians speak it and they're obviously happy because they get to live in Italy where it's warm and sunny and everything has melted mozzeralla on it and you're always drunk on Barolo.

Now, I've often heard two real-life Italian people speaking to each other, and it always appears to be an animated or heated discussion. I would hate to be stuck in a room full of teenage Italian girls. A lot of it is just by nature of the inflection in the language, but maybe an excitable nature is just a part of the cultural heritage too, and the language just kind of absorbs it. Well, irregardless, these two people sat across from each other the whole ride. And they spoke without pause for the entire 40 minutes. And I sat there trying to figure out one thing; how well do these two people actually know each other? What's their story? Did they just meet? Are they old friends? Did they somehow instinctually know that the other was like-speaking when they sat down on the bus and just launched into conversation?

It eventually occurred to me that it isn't very often, at least for introspective type B's like myself, that you carry on a conversation with someone that extensive that you've known a long time. I mean, how many times do you do that with your spouse or sister, etc...? Unless you've been a captive in a red chinese prison for the last 20 years, and you're seeing each other for the first time, that is. But I didn't detect the odor of stale rice, decaying flesh, and communism (mmm, mmm, that's good communism) on these two, so I think we can rule that out. No, I think that they had just met. Or that they had met on the bus once or twice before, and they were just having a nice conversation, catching up on the homeland, or trading recipes. Or maybe:

(translated by me)
"What's your opinion of pine nuts?"
"Pine nuts?"
"Yeah, you know. Pine nuts."
"Oh, PINE nuts."
"That's what I said."
"I thought you said PIE nuts."
"That doesn't make any sense. Especially because we're speaking Italian and 'pie' and 'pine' don't sound alike at all."

Well, it was probably something like that anyway. My Italian is a little rusty...


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