Friday, April 28, 2006

lunch at the coffee bar

Setting: a coffee bar in downtown Arma di Taggia at lunch time

Characters: Lynn; Chiara – Italian friend of Lynn’s; Zio and Zia –the aunt and uncle of Chiara and the bar’s owners; Chiara’s cousin, Lorenzo; the other customers in the bar.

Scene opens with Lynn trying to parallel park in a spot that a stretch-limo-hummer could fit in. Chiara is on the sidewalk giving directions

Chiara: now cut it left, now right, come back a little…do you want me to do it?

Lynn: (sotto voce) fu&%, sh&^#t… (to Chiara) no, no. I can do it.

Scene cuts to the bar. Lynn and Chiara are sitting at a little table chatting. Chiara has ordered lunch from her Zio.

Chiara: Tell me about your plans for your trip to the US! You are so lucky. I want to go. Maybe next year I will go with you.

Lynn: I’m trying right now to find some gifts to take back. I’d like to bring cheeses and salamis but I’m not sure if I can take them on the plane.

Chiara: (shouts across the bar) Zio!! Can you take cheese and salami on an airplane?

All heads turn toward the question, then turn again to Zio awaiting the answer…

Zio: (looks around, chuckles and shouts back) Why not?! It’s a salami, not a gun. Just put it in your luggage and carry it on. When I was coming back from Rome once I had a bottle opener in my bag. They saw it on the x-ray and told me I had to leave it. I said, “I don’t have a bottle opener!” The guy said, “have a look! Yes, you do!.” And I did. So they took it from me. It had a little knife on it – you can’t take that. But a salami is a salami.

Lady at next table: Just wrap it and put it in your bag. When I came back from Naples I brought some pasta, and salami and cheese, everything! I just put it in my bag and carried it on.

Cousin Lorenzo: I know you can’t take nail clippers but, salami? It’s salami.

Zio: (speaking to the bar) It’s not a gun. It’s just a salami.

Lynn: (in a soft voice talking to Chiara) But I think it’s different when you travel internationally.

Chiara: (shouting to Zio) Zio! But isn’t it different if you are going to a different country?

Zio: What’s the diffenence. It’s a salami, not a gun.

Lady on the other side of the bar: Just wrap it and put it in your luggage. If they ask you about it just say you were going to make a sandwich, in case you got hungry. Of course they’d understand that.

Lynn: (now joining the game, shouts) But when you arrive in the US you have to fill out documents and they ask you if you have food with you.

Zio, lady at next table, lady on the other side of the bar, two painters standing at the bar, Lorenzo, Zia: (speaking simultaneously, in loud voices but to no one in particular): But what if you get hungry? It’s not a gun! Just say you’re making a sandwich. Just put it in your carry-on bag. It’s just a salami.

Conversation continues throughout the bar.

Chaira (not satisfied with the consensus of the bar): I have a friend who is a travel agent. I’ll call her.

Lynn: Great. Thanks. Did I tell you that one of our cats is pregnant.

Chiara: Oh no. You have to get her fixed or else you’ll have 100 cats.

Lynn: I know. But how do I do that?

Chiara: (shouts to the lady across the bar) Signora….

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