by Melinda Gallo

Patience is a virtue

This morning I decided to venture out and go to the market. Saturday morning is probably the worst time ever to go, but because Dave was going to leave for a week to Germany, I decided to get myself some things that Dave doesn't eat, like melanzane (eggplant), pancetta (bacon), and pesce (fish).

I went straight to the ortolana (green grocer) where I picked up a few paper bags and filled them with my favorites. I grabbed two heads of lettuce and put it all on top of the empty basket next to the scale.

I stood there watching the other people. Most of them weren't very happy. They seemed quite annoyed at having to wait their turn. Normally, the Italians are pretty good about being patient, but today it was just crazy. The ortolana was telling another customer how it's been busy like this since she opened.

The ortolana took my bags, weighed them, and told me how much I owed her. She knows that I pick out what I need each time and patiently wait. So, maybe that's why she took me ahead of so many other people. A woman who was waiting on another side of the stand came up and huffed and puffed next to me. I tried not to look at her, but she probably realized that I was a straniera (foreigner) and that possibly I didn't speak Italian. Sometimes not looking Italian has its advantages.

As I paid the ortolana, I told her buona domenica (have a great Sunday). The woman standing next to me, said "Ecco, ecco" (here, here) and pushed her bags into the ortolana's hands. I looked at the ortolana as she shook her head.

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