by Melinda Gallo

A lost postcard

This morning I went to the cartoleria (stationery shop) and noticed how many more people were in the streets. In front of my house, there were people walking outside. And not just tourists, there seemed to be more Italians. I was told that school started today and not last week, so that's why it was still quiet all last week.

The guy at the cartoleria normally remembers my name and today he only said hello to me. He recognized me, but I thought he'd say something more to me. I sent him a postcard from Corsica (mostly because he thrust his business card at me and asked me to). I only sent three postcards total, so it was a bit of an effort for me to remember his.

I went to do some photocopying and asked him if I could do my own photocopies. I like my freedom when I'm photocopying. It's one thing I'm not that used to in Italy. They like to do things for you.

For example, at the outdoor market, the ortolana (green grocer) generally picks things out and puts them in bags for her clients, but I like to do it myself. Not that I can pick better, but I'm just used to it that way. In a few other stores, you're not supposed to touch anything; you're supposed to ask for what you want. It takes some getting used to. In those shops I have to make sure I know what I want or else you end up standing there looking a bit silly. Some stores are just not made for browsing.

While I was paying for my photocopies, I noticed that he had other postcards on the wall. I kept looking at it to see if I could see the one I sent, but I didn't recognize any of them. So, I guess he might not have even received my postcard. Oh well, they say it's the thought that counts although he's unaware that I picked one out, addressed it, and sent it.

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