Useless Travel Phrases in Italian (無用的義大利語教學)

So I was strolling up and down the streets of a busy shopping district in downtown Milan when I decided to have a scoop of ice cream.

I am not sure if this is a typical conversation that takes place in Italy between the ice cream consumer and the gelato vendor…(even after living here for almost two years, I still can’t conclude what Italian norms are) but I am sure it has some merits. Although the original conversation was already very simple, I still failed to recall exactly what it was like. More or less (più o meno, another extremely useful phrase in Italian…) it is like this:

Me: Il gusto di Lotus, per favore.
(The Lotus flavour, please.)
He: Piccolo, medium o grande?
(Small, medium or large?)
Me: Piccolo.
He: In coppetta o in cono?
(In the cup or in the cone?)
Me: In coppetta, grazie.
(In the cup, thanks.)
His boss: Perché il piccolo? Ti piace solo il piccolo? Non ti piace il medium? Non ti piace il grande?
(Why the small one? You like it small only? You don’t like it medium? You don’t like it big?)

I felt like I had just witnessed the majestic power of euphoric metaphors in that short-lived conversation ended by my walking away…

Another windfall of this passeggiata (stroll) is this photo.

It reminded me of, rather, evoked the familiar feelings of wandering in a big city for the knowns and the unknowns, to observe how its inhabitants interact with the metropolitan hub, how they live their happy and unhappy days; like a teenage girl anxiously waits for someone nearby a metro exit; or a man smoking a cigarette outside of a skyscraper during his break…

I still remember vividly the moment I saw a Caucasian man in a suit crossing the street with a handful of roses on Valentine’s day three years ago in Central Hong Kong. I supposed he was not born there and probably relocated to the city for work, eventually found somebody worth spending the day with. So many different things happen to so many different people in many different moments for many different reasons in big cities.

I am so loving it!



我:Il gusto di Lotus, per favore.
Iceman: Piccolo, medium o grande?
我: Piccolo.
Iceman: In coppetta o in cono?
我: In coppetta, grazie.
Iceman的老闆: Perché il piccolo? Ti piace solo il piccolo? Non ti piace il medium? Non ti piace il grande?







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