I love language. And it has been both interesting and hysterical to try and speak all these languages. French. Italian. Arabic. Spanish. We have found that English is truly spoken everywhere we go, and with the exception of the bar keep in the Basque country, we’ve been able to communicate just fine with a Spanish/English combo.
What happens to English at the hands of others? Interesting turns of phrase. To wit: Everyone in Marrakesh told us they would offer us a “good price.” Of course, we said. Who wouldn’t offer a good price. Well, turns out that some savvy Marrakesh merchants upped the anti, and offered the “best price.” Who could argue with that? It was the best price. When we were on our 3 hour trek in the mountains, we passed a lone hut on the mountain road, and met a young merchant who told us point blank that he would give us something better than a “good” or “best” price. “I give you happy price,” he purred.
At a restaurant here in Rome, the waiter offered us tiramisu or a custard, but then he suggested that we try the chocolate and biscuit “friendly style.” Friendly style, in this case, was a wooden board with a very, very large sharp knife affixed to the board at the tip of the knife. A large black hunk of dark chocolate sat under the knife, and you would gillotine however much you wanted. Little almond cookies dusted in powdered sugar sat next to a small pile of hard other cookies. You just took what you liked, and when the next table ordered, they got what you didn’t eat … friendly style.
We agreed the U.S. health department would poo-poo friendly style. I mean, restaurants are petrified to offer used crayons for fear of spreading disease between customers. But it made so much sense.
What didn’t make a whole lot of sense, from both a marketing and flavor profile standpoint was the following. From the same restaurant that offered to serve us Resentful of Calf to the Lemon and Cunto wine, comes Shrimps of Crappola. Yum yum.