I’m having fun working out what to order when I dine out in Rome. Remember, I can’t speak a word of Italian. French? Nope. Spanish? Nope. No Romance language. I speak a smattering of Indonesian. I used to speak it pretty well fluently as I learnt it for five years. I speak a smattering of Russian. Learnt that for four years at Uni. But this was all back in the Jurassic Park days of youth.

So I’m pretty well useless here in Italy when it comes to communicating. Of course, many Italians speak English but in the tiny shops I’m visiting in the area I’m living – well, they don’t speak a whole lot of English.

And so I sit in cafes and restaurants when I’m eating out, staring at the menu for some time, trying to figure out what it all means. I have to avoid fish. Don’t like fishy stuff. Nope. I now know fish is pesce in Italian but what I didn’t know is that Italian fish are supremely clever.

It said on the menu of a restaurant down the hill from where I’m living: “Fresh fish to be cooked at will“. I had visions of the fish jumping into the pot, saying “okay, I’m willing to be cooked, go ahead“.

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