We had just finished a magnificent dinner at Il Navicello restaurant in Levanto, Italy. We were all getting along quite fine despite the fact that the10 of us, met merely 2 hours ago. After eating my amazing pizza topped with fresh salami, I sat back and savored my red wine while practicing my Italian with the native speakers at the table.
We asked for the bill and went back inside the restaurant to pay.
"Tu parla inglese???" the waitress asked me after I paid my bill.
"Si, per che sono Canadese." I replied proudly.
"Si si, lui parla inglese!" said the waitress to a young girl in the back of the room.
I wondered how she knew, maybe my jacket with Canada written boldly on the back was the dead give away.
Of course it was.
Moments later the young girl came right up to me who I estimated to be about 11 years-old. She was holding a book in her hand with a pencil and seemed a little relieved to see me. The waitress said to me that the girl needed some help with her English homework and asked if I could lend a hand.
"Si, si, fammi lo vedere." I said.
I took a quick glance at her homework and realized that all she had to do was translate some dialogue into English. My eyes lit up and I felt more than confident and happy to give her a hand.
Her father (who is also the cook and owner of Il Navicello) waltzed into the room, pulled up a chair and sat me down to help her daughter.
Soon, my group of friends and other people from the restaurant gathered around the table to watch me teach the girl.
"Turn the spot light off please!" I thought to myself.
"Come ti chiami?" I asked her.
"Angelica." she responded shyly.
"Ah, va bene, mia sorella si chiama, Angie."
The lesson began as I scribbled down word for word what each sentence said. The dialogue was simple to translate, but I made sure to sound out every single word I wrote and then asked her to repeat after me.
After 20 minutes, her homework was complete. I had Angelica read the dialogue from start to finish and made sure she understood what every word meant. For my efforts the waitress brought over a small shot of Limuncello for me.
The following day, Bernard and I walked into the same restaurant to have a big bowl of pasta after we got LOST in Vernazza (more to follow). The waitress who served me the night before was happy to tell me that Angelica received a good mark on her assignment. The news made me smile and I told her that it was my pleasure to help.
After dinner the waitress asked me if I wanted anything else after I asked for the bill. I politely said no since Bernard and I were late to meet up with some people. The waitress walked away and then returned to my table shortly after with a shot in hand.
She insisted for me to have one last shot of Limuncello...on the house.