by Melinda Gallo

Gli altri clienti al mercato

These past few weeks I have noticed that the more I talk with the guys at the mercato, the more they talk to me about their other clienti (customers). They don't tell me their names or tell me anything about them like what they do for a living or where they live, but they do make it clear to me who they like and who they don't like.

My macellaio has always been kind to me. On some days, he's happy and smiles a lot and on other days, he's a little tired and maybe a bit malinconico (melancholic).

The other day when I got to his bancone (counter), he was so happy to see me that he ran toward me. I didn't realize that another woman had arrived right before me, but hadn't yet decided what she wanted. He leaned toward me to hide himself behind the scale and whispered, "Non la sopporto quella lý." (I can't stand her). After he told me a few more details, like "╚ falsa" and "Esaggera troppo." I finally glanced over at her when he went in the back to get me a chicken.

She looked like an upper-class Italian woman who was dressed per bene (well). If we weren't in Italy, I would've placed her in France possibly. Florentines are known to be a bit more alla mano (simple and approachable), so I could see how she didn't fit into his world.

Another time, he told me he didn't like a woman by just rolling his eyes at me while he was reluctantly helping her. When it was my turn, he came up to me and let out a sigh and shook his head.

The older brother at the pizzicheria/salumeria does the same thing. One woman came up the other day while the younger brother was helping me and tried to interrupt us. He pointed at me and said, "Sono impegnato." She didn't say anything, but just looked toward the other brother and barked out her order again. He too rolled his eyes at me while she was pointing at one of the cheeses in the vetrina (glass case) that she wanted.

It seems their biggest complaint is clients who aren't very nice to them or who are too particular about every little thing. I don't think any of my favorite vendors roll their eyes at the other clients when I arrive, so I must be doing something right by them.

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