Last night I dreamt I was driving a red convertible through Italy. I was driving along perilous cliffs overlooking Tuscan villages and the Mediterranean. These landscapes are jumbled in my mind due to the long (long, long, long) day and night I spent driving across Italy with my parents last April, the night there was no room at the Inn. We managed to be in Italy during their version of Memorial Day, and every hotel room in every city was booked. Seriously. We went through every major city and tiny township in the country, and everywhere we heard the same thing: Completo! At one point we were all so zooey that my parents actually let me drive. Unfortunately, I was zooey too, and started hallucinating strange road signs where there were none. We finally wound up sleeping in the car on a side street in Pisa.
Later, in Alassio, a charming seaside resort town where we were served fresh tirimisu every morning, I told my new friends about the night we were driving around Italy. “Abbiamo gridato dappertutto l’Italia,” I said. They – a group of high school boys, smack my wrist – all stopped in the middle of the pier and turned to me incredulously. “Che?”
“Abbiamo gridato dappertutto l’Italia,” I said, making little “turning the steering wheel” motions.
“Ohhh,” they said. “Guidato. ‘Abbiamo gridato’ means ‘We screamed.'”
Other linguistic gems from that trip included asking for the tree instead of the hotel and the map instead of the bill.