Gear Change Up

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 15

I go up to reception at my hostel...
"Hello, I was wondering if you could direct me to a supermarket around here."
"Ah, yes! But today, it is closed! is like Sunday." Sunday..."A holiday?" I ask
"Yes! That is the word!"
"Oh, ok," I said. That explains why everything downtown was closed up and everyone was out on their bikes. Good to know. "What are we celebrating?"
"August 15th!"
"August 15th?"
"Yes, it is a big holiday."
"Oh...okay." I jump on my bike and head into town, making a mental note to ask someone else what holiday it is.

At the tourist information office...
"I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of an internet cafe:"
"Ah, yes! But it is closed today! It is a holiday!"
"Oh, right! What are we celebrating?ยจ
"August 15th!"
I give a blank stare.
She stares back.
"That's it?" I ask
"It is the same holiday they celebrate in Italy. We just celebrate it here too."
"Oh! Okay, I get it. And what are they celebrating?"
"August 15th."
"August 15th?"
"August 15th."
"Anything specific about it?"
"What's that?"
"It's the halfway point in August."
"Anything else I can help yith you with?"
"Um...nah never mind. Thanks for your help."

*Howdy is my greeting of choice in situations where I 1)Don't know what language is supposed to be used, or 2)Know what language is supposed to be used, and know that its not english. The use of the word "Howdy" as a greeting establishes a few things:
1. I speak english
2. I am American, and therefore somewhat helpless in my current situation
3. I am friendly, polite, and completely harmless.


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