I know very little about the Italian language. This made me nervous when I learned that I was going to be spending a couple of days in Rome. I got a copy of “Italian for Dummies” by Francesca Romana Onofri when we’d thought that we’d make the trip last year.
When we decided to push the trip to this year, I’d only read a couple of chapters. I figured that I’d forget anything that I picked up now after a year, so I put the book down until the trip was closer.
Of course, I didn’t pick up the book again until I was on the bus from Rome airport to our hotel.
I looked up “excuse me”, “please”, and “thank you” (“scusi”, “per favore”, and “grazie” respectively) and screwed them up a few times before getting them right.
After our third or fourth meal, we found that waiting for the check was taking longer than the meal did. I looked up how to ask for the check. It’s “il conto, per favore” (page 71). The paragraph above this information also had this little nugget: “She’ll never bring (the bill) unless you ask for it.”
I used the magic words and the server brought the bill. He may have been peeved that we took so long to ask for it.
I guess my first instincts were right and I should have spent some time with the book before I needed its information. Not that I learned my lesson or anything. I couldn’t find a “Greek for Dummies” book so I didn’t even try to learn it at all. I’m just sticking close to the cruise ship staff so that they’ll help me out.