Today I had my first argument in Italian.
I didn't start it. I’m not really one for confrontation. I am somewhat lacking in attitudinal presence and could probably do with going on some sort of assertiveness course.
I knew there was something a bit different about the bus driver when he started shouting at the old woman in front of me, who was trying to pull her ticket out of her purse (with her shaky old lady hands), ‘VAI, VAI VELOCE NONNA’ (Come on, hurry up grandma).
Around half way through the journey he pulled over and started shouting at me. Claimed I didn't have a ticket. Me, someone who has so much as stolen a mini-egg from a pic’n’mix.
I was about to explain (politely and apologetically of course) that there must have been a misunderstanding when he sarcastically drawled, ‘What was that Signorina Inglese’.
Clearly four months of inner fury at being totally incapable of articulating myself properly, miscommunication and being rendered to boring conversations about the weather had built up inside of me to a completely unmanageable degree.
I think he was somewhat taken aback when a five foot two woman with huge hair and a make-shift sarong started thumping at the drivers' window and calling upon the Madonna. It was the most coherent string of sentences I have ever cobbled together.
It’s a good job I’ve watched so much Temptation Island, the programme which sees lots of couples cheat on each other, feign innocence and embark on Jeremy Kyle style bust-ups live on TV. The phrases I learnt from that TV show essentially formed the crux of my argument; feature appearances included 'you are a cheat’, ‘I am telling you the truth’, 'you are a liar’ and ‘you’re all the same’.
Feeling somewhat disenchanted with Italy, though quite impressed with my new-found sassiness, I returned home and was greeted by the not-so-welcome sight of Sad Marco. Apparently he needed to do something to the pipes.
When he said I wasn't my usual self I told him I was a bit fed up. Or at least that’s what I thought I said. What ensued was a very confusing conversation which saw Sad Marco banging on about eating beans and not enough pasta, and me trying to ask him when the washing machine would be ready to use because I am actually starting to smell.
Apparently I hadn't told him I was fed up. I’d told him I was bloated.
Starting to feel like ‘Still Struggling in Italian’ might be more apt title for this blog.