Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

rossa rosa

Our little group walked in slowly, no one wanting to be the first to speak. The man was looking at us expectantly so a couple of us said buongiorno. There was a pause.

The man smiled, and encouraged, I asked parla inglese? but he shook his head, and stopped smiling.

Marek was pushed to the front of our little gaggle, and producing his Italian phrasebook with a flourish asked something that apparently meant Do you have a romantic bouquet?

Slightly impressed, but a little worried that a romantic bouquet was not exactly what we wanted, I told him to look up wedding. There was another pause.


Ah! Matrimonio!

Si! Si! Matrimonio!

The florist had been looking a little disconcerted at being faced with a group of foreigners who seemed intent on communicating with him one way or another, but after he heard the magic word, he got his order book out and positioned his pen expectantly.

The questions were more or less what you'd expect: What? when? and how many?

I tried, using a mixture of French, flourish and the odd annoying Polish word that insisted on leaving my mouth (Tak! I mean, Si!) to convey that we needed one large, two medium and six, yes six, small bouquets of red roses for Saturday. Plus two buttonholes.

Grande per Ruth, she's the bride, er, what's bride, yes, sposa, si si. Er, due medio, si, e seis, shit that's Spanish, er sei? tak, si, sei piccolo. Who's got a buttonhole? Point at it. Mime a flower in it. I don't know, just mime.

Is fiore flower? Oh, he's asking which flower. How do you say rose? Ros-eh? Rosi? Rosa? Rosa!

The florist was looking quite jolly by now, buoyed by his large order. He asked if we wanted to see the roses, and we trundled after him through the back room and into the cold store.

Bella we all cooed. Bellissima he corrected.

Back in the front of the shop, we ran through the order again. The florist hauled in the ice-cream lady from next door, who (it turned out, well after we needed her) spoke English. She'd been reading, but looked pleased to help. She put a finger to mark her spot in Mein Kampf and repeated the details of the order. Saturday at 1pm we would be collecting a whole load of flowers.

Everyone beamed, cheered by our success. Recalling the sale signs we'd seen in Lucca's shops though, Marek went for gold and called out sconti!

We were given the buttonholes on the house.

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