Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mama mia!

I encountered another cultural lesson at the grocery store today and it was a doozie.

I decided that I needed to get off campus for a bit, but didn't want to go too far because it was too hot and I didn't feel like spending much money. I knew that I was about out of fruit and the bread was getting a little old. So, I made my way to one of our local grocery stores.

The store was packed compared to when I'd been there before. It was hard to navigate some aisles because of all of the people. But, I managed to get everything that I needed, and perhaps a couple of items that I didn't. I even weighed my fruit this time! :) I stood in line and was even able to understand a woman when she asked me if she could go in front of me because all she had was latte (milk). I should clarify. I didn't understand her words, with the exception of a couple, but more her gestures. She went in front of me and I unloaded my cart. As the man behind the counter was checking my items and I was placing them in a bag, there was a large commotion at the front entrance. I could hear a woman shouting with such fury that I thought something was terribly wrong. I glanced over, really the entire store had stopped to watch her, and she was screaming at the top of her lungs at one of the clerks. I couldn't believe how loud she was yelling. She proceeded to push her way past him and marched with all the huffiness of a temper tantrum towards the toiletry aisle. She came screaming back to the check out area of the store and slammed down her lotion/shampoo or whatever it was. All I know is it went flying everywhere because she slammed it down so hard that the top broke off. She continued to scream her head off in Italian while the store looked on. I wish I were exaggerating, but was like watching a cartoon. I half expected steam to pour from her ears.

I am sure that my face had turned bright red because I have never witnessed anything like it in my life...outside of a small child throwing a hissy fit. I can't believe they just let her do that. In the States, she would have been hauled out so fast. It shook me a little.

My cashier just looked at me and smiled, muttered something in Italian, and handed me my receipt. Just another day and another high-spirited Italian.

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