Dec 8, 2008

Italian Rotten Tomatoes--what does this mean?

When Reamer and I first moved into our apartment, the power kept going off because I was using so much power at once. (I am unable to run the washer and dryer at the same time... and don't get me started on the dishwasher). But this does nothing to help my story along. So....

One night, the power went off again. So we kept flipping the switches on the fuse box, but we couldn't get it to turn back on. The entire house was completely dark and we couldn't get our Real Estate Agents on the phone (they call our landlord for issues because he only speaks Italian). We had no other choice but to ask for help from our Italian neighbors. Everyone that lives in our apartment building is related to our landlord, so we knew that we could get some help. So we reluctantly went upstairs knocked on a door and hoped for the best.

A sweet old lady answered the door and clumbsy Italian/Spanish/English language came rushing out of my mouth. I even think that I did some sign language as I tried to explain to her the problem. But somehow I got the point across and her grandson came and helped us fix the power. Both Reamer and I were shocked that I could sort of communicate through my mumbo jumbo of languages.
I decided to thank her by giving her some homemade AMERICANO Chocolate Chip Cookies (a novelty here in Italy--Biscotti is their type of cookie). I also wrote her a note in Italian (freetranslation.com helped) thanking her for being such a good neighbor and for helping us. I think that she really appreciated it because after I did this, eveyone in the building has been extra nice and smile at us all the time.

She came over to "chat" the other day for about 30-45 minutes. What an interesting conversation that was! There were several topics that we had no clue what the other was talking about, but some things were easy to understand. She is 87 years old and sweet as can be. She wanted to make sure that I knew that if we ever needed anything to come ask her for anything at all. She enjoyed my Christmas decorations and thought the apartment looked Bellisimo!!! She looked at pictures of Reamer (he isn't home much, so they have only seen eachother once or twice). She liked his military uniform and thought that he was handsome.


My only concern is about the gift she gave me. She returned my tupperware dish that I sent the cookies in, but inside of it were ROTTEN TOMATOES! I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why she would give me Rotten Tomatoes and I can't figure it out! I think that she is just really really old and going blind and didn't realize that they were rotten. I've been wondering if this is some strange tradition or something, but I have yet to find any information on it. Let me know if you know anything about this as a custom or if you think that she is just old. I know her intentions were good, but yuck!!




4 comments:

Uma and Wil said...

This is hilarious. Professor Google did not produce any relevant results when I asked about rotten Italian tomatoes. Maybe you are right and her eyesight is not what it used to be. Hope she's not living alone...

Leigh Johnson said...

Is this a real photo of the rotten tomatoes? too funny! I bet she really can't see that well, But now I know what to give people who I would like to thank!

Jennifer Williams said...

Those look like some YUMMY tomatoes! Funny story!

martina said...

Hi! I just happened on this blog while I was looking for blogs about Vicenza! That's a funny story, but... what if they're not tomatoes? Couldn't they be persimmons? ("cachi" in Italian)
It would make some sense if they were xD