My lovely sister had arrived!
The normal excitement ensued during the unpacking of items she had brought us from the UK. Beloved and much missed items, Cheddar Cheese by the block, Piccalilli, Twiglets, Marmite, bovril, back bacon and many such delights were grabbed eagerly from her case amongst squeals of happiness.
A brief look in the fridge discovered a severe lack of goodies, prosecco being the most obvious!
“Just 2 bottles of Prosecco, well that’s not nearly enough!” declared my sister and set to writing a list of what she wanted, whilst asking if anyone else had items to add.
She was clearly in her own little world thinking of all the things she could have that she had enjoyed so much on her previous trip but then her thoughts were suddenly interrupted when she picked up of something my mother said.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” she asked. “Are you working out where to go?” she said now intrigued.
“Yes” we replied.
“Did I hear correctly?” she said.
“Yes!” mum said. “One of our local supermarkets is called Conad,” she paused to giggle with embarrassment, “until the day we were with friends and I, (much to the amusement of your sister), accidentally called it Gonad! The name seems to have stuck! So when the supermarket in the centre of town changed hands and became Siddis . . . . well it just seemed too easy! So yes, I’m suggesting that you go to Gonads and Titties!”
My sister thought this was priceless and wanted to come to see these wonderfully named shops, so my sister and I jumped in my trusty Panda and set off . . . .
We arrived in the main square, still giggling, parked the car, got a trolley and entered our first point of call, the infamous ‘Titties’! We made our way round the fruit and veg and towards the back of the store to the meat counter.
That’s when the trouble really started!
I spotted a hole chicken and suggested we got one, my sister agreed. She then spotted a pig’s head in the corner of the counter that had a cigarette sticking out of it’s mouth and started to giggle again.
You need to remember, all I did, was simply ask for a chicken . . . .
At that time I hadn’t been living in Italy that long, my Italian was pretty good but on that day at the meat counter, it wasn’t good enough! The lad behind the counter asked which of the three I wanted and I said, I don’t know, which is the best. Big mistake! He then proceeded to explain . . . .
I’m not sure if you’ve experience this kind of situation, but you say a few words in Italian and they decide you can speak it fluently. So after my 3 words of Italian, I got a response that basically sounded like ‘blah-blah-blah chicken blah-blah-blah not good blah-blah-blah best’ and at very high speed!
I realised he was explaining the differences between the chickens and why one was better than the others. So I pointed at the pale one and said, that’s just a normal chicken. Yes he replied. He then pointed at the yellow one. I looked at my sister, who was still giggling and after a few glances we agreed it was probably corn fed. He realised we had agreed something and pointed at the last chicken stating it was definitely the best.
It was obvious that it was the best as it was fatter etc but by this point we were intrigued as to why he was saying it was the best. He repeated the word but no, we just didn’t understand. He glanced at his fellow worker and said a different word. Nope, still nothing, no idea!
By this point, I was all set to say, don’t worry, I’ll take it, but the lad then started to ‘strut’, up and down behind the counter doing a marvellous impression of a chicken!
Well, clearly the events of the day so far, were just too much for my sister. She was now crouching on the floor in tears of laughter!
I, meanwhile, with a straight face, (which seemed to make my sister laugh even more) continued to say different Italian words to the ‘chicken impersonator’ trying to work out what on earth he was trying to tell me. His colleague was now also in fits of laughter but the poor lad was still strutting up and down, desperate for me to understand.
Amazingly this went on for a good 5 minutes, until, . . . .
. . . to the delight of the gathering giggling crowd, at the top of my voice and with great delight . . .
I announced . . . . .