by Melinda Gallo

Saldi, saldi, saldi

Starting today for the next two months, saldi (sales) will be the one word on every Italian's mind. The word "saldi" is written in every shop window everywhere. The saldi take place twice a year: once in the winter, called the "saldi invernali" and once in the summer, "saldi estivi."

I wanted to go and check out all the shops, but was quickly deterred when I thought of how many people will be out downtown. Sometimes, I love the hustle and bustle of Florence and yet other times, I wish it were a bit less hectic.

I mostly don't like getting bumped into. When there are crowds, many people don't watch where they're going or they don't feel they need to move. I have given up the notion that I need to move completely out of people's way as well. I'll move a little bit to make way, but I'm not going to do much more than that.

So, in the end, I bump into people all the time. Our shoulders collide or my purse hits them in the arm. It's all unintentional, but no one seems to say anything. I have even, at times, been standing still on the sidewalk almost up against a window with some room behind me and have had people bump into me any way. No words are spoken and so I assume it must be "normal." I now just try to keep out of the way and if I do get bumped into, I won't get upset about it.

I plan on going to the shops next week while other people are working in the hopes that it won't be too busy and hopefully, I won't have to wear any football gear to fend off the people as I walk down the street.

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