Do you know what a bad expat language moment is? You'll empathise immediately if you've ever been in the process of learning a second language and living it out day to day. Yesterday was a bad expat language moment for me. It should have been a breeze. I went to the movies in Bergamo for English Film Night where they show a film in its original language. We were going to watch Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice. Being the "most experienced" expat in our group made up of myself, an American, and a German girl, I thought nothing of it to lead the pack into getting our tickets. And it started off well with a "un biglietto per favore" (one ticket please) but then this is when it crashed and burned...The fellow at the ticket counter then said something that I couldn't understand. It went something like this steeeeeeelahhhleeeeez. I was flubbergasted, I was completely caught off my language skill game. What was this mysterious new word I had never heard before? I literally mumbled with utter confusion, after asking him to repeat numerous times, ma cosa vuol dire (what does that word mean)? Thank God, one of the other girls realized I hadn't said which movie I wanted to see and chirped in- Still Alice! Turns out, the man was saying the title of the movie, STILL ALICE, but with THE strongest Italian accent that I thought it was a new word. Talk about embarrassing. But hey, just another one of those funny expat moments eh?
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(I suggest "Italian Men" or "wine" but that's just me!)
Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned writer and wine drinker from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.
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