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.
(Small.)
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!

背景:我在米蘭市區晃著晃著,突然決定要吃冰淇淋。

雖然在義大利住了都快兩年了,我還是不知道在這個國家什麼叫作正常,什麼叫作異常。以下的對話大概是不怎麼尋常,但大家還是可以從其中學習一些非常有用(?)的義大利文(賣冰者就將就稱他為Iceman好了)。

我:Il gusto di Lotus, per favore.
(蓮花口味的,please.)
Iceman: Piccolo, medium o grande?
我: Piccolo.
(小的。)
Iceman: In coppetta o in cono?
(杯裝還是甜筒?)
我: In coppetta, grazie.
(杯裝,謝謝。)
Iceman的老闆: Perché il piccolo? Ti piace solo il piccolo? Non ti piace il medium? Non ti piace il grande?
(為什麼小的?你只喜歡小的嗎?你不喜歡中型size的?你不喜歡大的嗎?)

後來我就離開了。連Iceman也為他老闆奇怪的問題感到錯愕。是說這兩年來這種在街上發生的詭異對話(通常都是單方的,因為我都不知道要回什麼)我已收錄許多,因為時常發生又都奇怪到可笑,改天再慢慢寫。

然後最讓我開心的事情,莫非上面那張照片了。女孩在地鐵出口附近坐下,跟朋友講電話(那地點有點像是敦化南路誠品外等公車的小島上)。

她一旁的四張海報上由右至左分別是日本文化展(在這我附上連結:http://www.fondazionematalon.org/showmostre/mostre/330),某種怪異投資廣告寫著「年報酬率六趴,從沒見過」,米蘭城市綠化(連結:http://www.greencitymilano.it/),某個有關靜坐的工作坊資訊。

在那秒這個畫面撞擊視界,我才意會為什麼我這麼喜歡大都市。

我喜歡她們的生氣,我喜歡居民們如何與這個城市互動,短短一個佈告欄給了我們好多關於米蘭這個城市的訊息,她大到一個規模,她經歷過都市化,現在市民們也在乎綠化,她是個國際都市,充滿文化氣息,市民有些錢會買詭異的投資產品,許多米蘭市民壓力大到或心有餘力想參加靜坐的workshop,而不見得每個人都會認真看這些佈告欄,像是那個在打電話的女孩,眼光一秒都不曾駐足在這些廣告上。

我喜歡大都市裡有個提供城市居民在喧囂的車陣中,一個坐下來打通電話給朋友的分隔島。我喜歡一座有文化的大城市,發展至一百二十萬的人口,任各種各樣的事在其領域內發生。

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