Friday, May 13, 2011

Fish and Peaches

The Web address for our blog stems from a trip to Italy molti anni fa —many years ago—and the slightly cryptic journal notation I made for 31 May 1998:  “Metro and bus to Via Appia Antica.  Walk up and down.  Gelato + peach (fish).”
It was a lovely, warm Sunday afternoon.  We had worked up a gelato craving as we poked along the ancient Roman road, marveling at sections of paving stones still in use after 2000 years and pondering the Imperial-era stone tombs, when per fortuna, we came to a small shop offering not only gelato and cool drinks but also luscious fresh peaches.  I got gelato, but when Cinzia asked the vendor for a peach she got only a look of mystification and disbelief.  She pointed at the peach, the man paused, gave a little shake of the head and a double eyebrow shrug and sent us on our way with a fat, juicy peach.  As we walked on Cinzia puzzled out the  interaction, finally giving herself a symbolic forehead slap. 
“I just asked for a fish, not a peach!” 

In Italian, a peach is pesca (pays’-ka), while a fish is pesce (pay’-shay).  But a shop that sells fish is a pescharia (pays-ka-ree-ah).  It seems like a strange quirk of the language, but the memory still makes us laugh.     


1 comment:

  1. Pesce, pesca, pesce, pesca!!! Which is it?! Sempre e'una problema. So, that is a cool tile (?) mural at the pescheria. The fishy part looks like a copy of some Pompeiian art. So classy!
    Can't wait to be a part of your vita italia!!!