It's a good job I love the rain.

Some years ago I was lucky enough to live in the northern Italian town of Vicenza. On my second day there I was wandering around in the early evening and spotted a restaurant. I went up to the door to find it was shut. Next to the door was a sign with the opening hours and I could see I was about 45 minutes too early. As I turned to walk away a man opened one of the windows and spoke to me, presumably to confirm the opening times. I thanked him (that was about all my grasp of Italian allowed me to do at the time) and prepared to walk off. But then, working out I was an ignorant English type, he called me back, opened the door and ushered me in. I was given a table to sit at, a glass of wine and a chance to watch the pizza oven being fired up.

I loved being in Italy.

This last weekend my wife, child and self went for a walk in the rain and made our way out to the next village. I suggested we call in to the pub (recently under new ownership) to have a snack and dry off. When we got there we could see a big sign saying "We Are Open" andf I confidently walked up to the door to find it locked. We walked away, disappointed, and then heard the front door being opened. There was the landlord, calling after me. "Are you open?" I asked.
"No." He said, flatly.
"Your sign threw me off a little." I said.
At this the landlord got huffy and told us the sign was left out by mistake. Then he marched back in, locked the door and left us to walk home in the rain.

I loved being in Italy.


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