Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Tale of the Italian Taxi Driver

I have taken a taxi from the Bassano Del Grappa train station twice now and have ridden with the same taxi driver. However, the two experiences have been horses of different colors to say the least. Upon arriving in Bassano with my dad we had to call a taxi to get to Paderno. Just calling the cab was one of the greatest language barriers I have encountered while being here. Dad and I had to figure out how to use an Italian pay phone. After twenty, frustrating, minutes of fumbling with euro change and dialing only to hear long beeps we reached a person, a person who spoke English. Our cab pulled up on time. Our driver was a younger guy who barely spoke English. He struggled to make conversation for the first five minutes into our drive, but yielded to silence after informing us that his "English is not so good". My dad and I took in the scenery in the meantime. Last weekend my roommate Sarah, and I and our two friends Anna and Lindsay took a cab back from the station to school after spending the weekend in Venice. We called a taxi right away, which was so much easier considering we knew the numbers, and had our nifty Italian cell phones. There was a cabbie loading someone into his cab while we were calling. One ring into the call the whole station heard Anna's voice echo on the man's walkie-talkie. This was a little embarrassing and called even more attention the "Americani" standing on the corner loaded down with back packs. He told us he would come back in five minutes. Twenty minutes later we were loaded in and headed back to campus. Sarah had the pleasure of sitting in the front seat. Immediately he brightened up and told us that he liked us. He played music, asked where we were from, and even hummed a tune or two. After struggling a bit and apologizing for his English he started asking if we had boyfriends, how many, where they were, and what their names were. He then went on to tell us that we have plenty of time to get serious, married, and make babies later but now is time for fun. His main target was poor, little, uncomfortable Sarah throughout this ordeal. After a car ride of pestering and overly personal questions he finally dropped us off back at school. Needless to say his English drastically improved during the car ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment