Ten things NOT to do in Italy

Old Jan 5th, 2015, 11:23 AM
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that is funny, NewB. i thought that the pantomime signified ME signing something, not them composing the bill.

My DH is called "Bill" - I can't tell you the laughs that we've had with the old joke "shall we get the bill?"
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Old Jan 5th, 2015, 05:44 PM
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This has been a very enjoyable read! Thanks for the entertainment, everyone.
I used to spend summers in Milan in the early '90s. Very early on I learned to NEVER use a spoon to twirl my pasta. My elder Italian host spat, "You look like a truck driver" at me the first time he saw me attempt it.
Needless to say, I've taught my children how to properly twirl their pasta, FORKS ONLY.
Also? I always used a fork and knife to cut my pizza in Italy. It was frustrating to do because I was so ravenous for having to have waited post 7:30pm for the restaurants to start serving dinner!
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Old Jan 5th, 2015, 10:00 PM
  #123  
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So, to catch up.
(I had to have a little lie down after the "budgie smugglers".
If they are compulsory in France it's sheer discrimination. How can an old codger like me be seen in those things?).

@NewbE: <<Many professional servers prefer the term, actually, because it is unisex>>
And that is precisely why I don't like it. It depersonalises them even more.

@annhig: Does anyone ever call out "waiter"?
Oh yes. "Cameriere!!"

On cheque signing/bill writing: We usually rub the thumb and forefinger of the right hand together to signify "money".
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Old Jan 5th, 2015, 11:57 PM
  #124  
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Hi SueOnTheMove <<This has been a very enjoyable read! Thanks for the entertainment, everyone>>

That was what was intended from the very beginning. One or two people found reasons to be disgruntled but on the whole I think we've had a bit of fun.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 12:27 AM
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"Though I get a bit thrown in German as one normally calls out Frauline (miss!) to get a waitresses attention which is all very well but if she is over 60 it sounds a bit odd."

It'd also sound odd to the waitress

Using Fräulein went out of fashion a few decades ago.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 02:40 AM
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Inspired by Miss Ps research, I found this
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-...Etiquette.html

Under language, it says that if you hear bad language in the street or pub, you should remonstrate with the offender. What?!

Btw, when does a Signorina become a Signora?
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 02:51 AM
  #127  
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Very risky Josser. Plus you'd be remonstrating continually.

Signorina to Signora at a "certain" age, irrespective of whether married or not. Although some will insist on Signorina.

As you probably know, Italian women do not change their surnames on marriage. She just switches from Signorina Rossi to Signora Rossi.
I have met Italian women who can't understand how on earth the taking of your husband's name has been accepted for so long by feminists in Anglo-Saxon countries. It seems ludicrous to them.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 03:05 AM
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Hans, probably know too many proper/posh/old money Germans who live in the past (or Switzerland which can be worse) A sign of my age probably.

Appia, Mrs Bilbo didn't change her name, why should she?
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 03:11 AM
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Josser, there are two struggles for a Brit here. 1) talking to a stranger is done with care.... 2) remonstrating is seldom done, 3) giving them a look (see Paddington Bear) is more normal, 4) striking up an arguement with a drunk is worthless.

Yes we do ask people to tone down their language but we chose our battles and do it respectfully which is not the real meaning of "remonstrate"

Another fun thing to do is toss rubbish back in a car from which the rubbish was thrown. I leave it to you to try!
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 03:16 AM
  #130  
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bilboburgler: <<Mrs Bilbo didn't change her name, why should she?>>

Sorry. I take it back. Things have changed. It's 40 years since I lived in the old country.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 04:45 AM
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Years ago in Spain, the difference between Señorita and Señora was the assumption one was a virgin. A cousin is visiting this week and I will ask her what the modern assumptions may be.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 07:55 AM
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Appia,
< <<Many professional servers prefer the term, actually, because it is unisex>>
And that is precisely why I don't like it. It depersonalises them even more. >
Just be aware that some might find the term "waitress" unacceptable.

(These days, though, doesn't it seem that someone, somewhere finds just about anything unacceptable??)
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 08:06 AM
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I totally agree NewbE.
Can't see anything wrong with "waitress" though! It's the word in the English language for a female waiter.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 08:38 AM
  #134  
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waiter/waitress.

I suppose in a language like Italian where all nouns have genders the problem doesn't arise. Waiter = il cameriere, waitress = la cameriera. No argument. Of course Italian has in the past been a masculine dominated language but with women now doing jobs previously in the male domain the language is changing. So we get il dottore / la dottoressa or il professore / la professoressa. With the present government being 50/50 there are moves to "feminize" (if I'm allowed that word) il ministro into la ministra but it hasn't caught on yet. It sounds inelegant to an Italian ear.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 09:08 AM
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what about "il dentista"? is a female dentist "la dentista"?

My mum still talks about seeing a "lady doctor" but I hope that my clients have got over the shock of finding out that their barrister is a woman. BTW, I didn't change my name when I married and it was my family which kept addressing me by my supposed married name. Now I use both names, which can lead to funny incidents, like DH being addressed by my surname.

<<Can't see anything wrong with "waitress" though! It's the word in the English language for a female waiter.>>

you'd better not say that to the face of a feminist waitress, Appia - surely a waitress is a female person who waits on tables, not the female version of a male profession.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 09:16 AM
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Must be generational, I thought a lady doctor was a real specialist.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 01:18 PM
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Appia, annhig, it's a bit of a circular argument, isn't it? As a feminist, I'm not sure whether I should decry the existence of feminized terms for professions, or decry the fact that anything feminized is generally viewed as inferior. Should I champion "waitress", or oppose it?? I tend to call people whatever it is they say they prefer to be called, but it's not always that simple.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 02:37 PM
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well, NewbE, if it comes to it, for a woman to change her surname on marriage is only swapping one patronymic for another, unless you're Icelandic.

I agree that things are rarely as simple as they seem initially. However, I am pretty clear that defining a woman's job in terms of her being a female version of the male equivalent is going to raise hackles.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 08:07 PM
  #139  
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annhig. I don't see the problem. We are talking about semantics. Jobs are done by both males and females.
As I posted above, here in Italy they go out of their way to invent female versions of jobs which men have always done. Rather than look for a neutral word such as "server".

Anyway sorry if I've upset anybody (again). As NewbE said:
<<These days, though, doesn't it seem that someone, somewhere finds just about anything unacceptable??>>

As has been said, it must be a generational and cultural thing. I live a very sheltered life down here where political correctness is not high on the agenda.
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Old Jan 6th, 2015, 08:26 PM
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Yes, it's "la dentista".

Avvocato/avocatessa. Poeta/poetessa.
"Il presidente" becomes "la presidente".

What about the other way round? Are you going to tell me that a male nurse is not called a male nurse anymore?!
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