Hey Hi My Lovelies! My Name is Tanya Hooper and I posts blogs about anything and everything creative here on TanyaTale every Friday at 7pm. To any new visitors welcome – introduce yourself in the comments below – and to any followers welcome back!
We are delving back into the realm of embarrassment today as I share another TaleTime post with you! We are jumping up to nearly present day in this TaleTime story as I share with you an adventure I took in Milan in February. If it isn’t bad enough screwing up in a country where you have people to fall back on, TaleTime has gone INTERNATIONAL. So be sure to click the like button and the subscribe button and settle back for a glance at my 18th Birthday.
I was FINALLY 18! It had seemed like years since my first friend had turned 18 in the April of 2016 but now it was finally my turn. As a very special present I was bought tickets for a weekend of shopping in Milan with my best friend (who is in far too many of these awkward stories these days!)
We had been so excited for the trip and had spent weeks planning every last detail of what we were going to do during our visit … Including where we were going to eat.
As a part of my birthday present from my friend (Shout out to Charlotte!) She had booked us into a traditional Italian restaurant for a dinner on our first night in Italy. I was very excited and after spending a very long time getting ready – and potentially breaking the swimming pool (another story for another time) – we had finally arrived.
It was a small family run Italian bistro in the most untourist part of town. I loved it. We sat down and were immediately greeted by bread sticks … what more could a girl want in life. We were seated by the manager of the restaurant and, little did we know, the only member of staff who could speak any English.
We looked over the menu before deciding on our starters and communicating them to the waitress by pointing them out on a copy of the menu. It felt like a modest success. I had been trying to learn some basic Italian for this, however my Italian barely covered asking for water let alone full blown conversation.
An hour or so and plenty of breadsticks later we had finished the most gorgeous meal in the world and we were ready to collect the bill and our coats and head back to the hotel. We raised our hand as to flag down a waitress but our initial attempts were ignored, which meant one thing, we would had to try to universal cheque symbol. We both waved our hands in the air pretending to be writing a cheque but still we were greeted with nothing.
I will admit that I can be a very patient person but after an early morning, a flight, a potential lawsuit and having to adopt my best friend (again, another story for another time), I was out of patience. Discretely I stood up and walked out into the restaurant lobby to look for the English speaking manager. It didn’t take long before I came to a startling discovery …
“Charlotte …” I awkwardly returned, “I think the manager has gone home.”
We were screwed. Not only had the only English speaking member of staff left the restaurant but our attempts to get the cheque had failed and our data roaming didn’t stretch far enough to google “How do you ask for the cheque in Italian?”
Another hour seemed to pass and another couple had come and gone from the table next to us. As a means of coping with the stressful situation of not speaking the native language we found ourselves people watching. The weird way that the people next to us seemed to eat two savoury meals, followed by desert followed by another savoury meal. Maybe it was an Italian thing. Maybe it was a them thing.
We watched the family who seemed to be very angry with each other and every time they lifted their knife and fork to cut a piece of food we were convinced they were about to throw it across the table.
We watched as waiters and waitresses ignored out attempts to pay the bill and wandered past the stupid British girls who were too ignorant to speak their native language … I tried to learn, I really did.
Finally, like a beacon of hope my friend remembered that, although it was expensive, she could use her data in Milan. So reluctantly she pulled out her phone, opened google and asked it the question we were dying to know.
“”How do you ask for the bill in Italian?”
“Il Conto” Google replied.
Now, I am unsure of whether google is a reliable source of foreign information and I am unsure of if google was correct, all I know is that when we asked for “Il Conto” we were finally freed from the torment and brought our cheque.
So there you have it, another embarrassing story from TaleTime on TanyaTale. I would be so appreciative if you remembered to hit that like button and to subscribe. Also if you speak and Italian or even just know how to order the bill/cheque in Italian please do let me know in the comments below because I would be extremely grateful to find out. Lots of love and until next time!