The first was that Italians take life s-l-o-w-l-y. This isn't a new lesson because I knew this and I love this about Italy. But what was new was the fact that I was in a hurry and wanted the cashier to stop chatting with the guy in front of us. I need to remember that at home people's time is more valuable than people and that's just not the way to live. I need to take time to enjoy people and life rather than rushing from place to place.
My second lesson in culture came as the cashier held up a bag of peaches I was purchasing and asked me a question in Italian. I, of course, had no idea what he was asking since my Italian proficiency is limited to "Buon girono," "Ciao," "Un gelati per favore," and the like. I just looked at him and scrunched my face as if to say: "Sorry, don't have a clue what you're saying." I am pleased to know that this is a universally recognized facial expression as he understood. He took my bag of peaches to a scale, weighed them, and printed out the label. Aha! I must weigh the fruit first! Gotcha! He was very gracious and most understanding. I am certain that in his head he was muttering something about stupid American, but I never got that from him and for that I was grateful.
This is certainly the first post of many as I share stories about the things that I am learning or "can you believe I did that?!" moments. I only hope in those moments I can find the humor in those situations and perhaps another universally accepted facial expression. :)