The Italian language....

My father was born in Italy and immigrated to Australia with his family when he was eight years old.

That's my father on the left with his little brother

He suffered a great deal through his school years as being a little Italian kid with no English skills made him a perfect scapegoat for the bully's of the school. They made his transition from Italy to Australia a living hell and even though he tried really hard and finally grasped the language he never forgot what it felt like to be an outsider.

When he became older he met my mother. They got married and when his first child (me) was born he made the decision to not teach his children how to speak Italian as they were Australians. (he did not want us to suffer the bullying that he did)

My mother and father at 16 & 17 years old

How I wish that those times had of been different. My father is Italian and I cannot speak one word of the language. I'm moving to live permanently in Italy and I have to overcome this language barrier. I need to be able to communicate and besides it's just plain arrogant and disrespectful to expect to be welcomed into a country when you have made no effort to fit in.

So Italian languages classes it is for me. I have enrolled and start on the 28th February.
My father was here on the weekend to visit and I asked him to speak to me in Italian for five minutes. I understood about 10% of what he was saying. Mainly through commonsense but also through the familiarity of the words, as even though he would not teach me I still got to listen to him converse with his parents when I was a child.

Anyway when he was talking Italian to me on the weekend the small stress knot I had in my stomach about the language problem disappeared. The flow of his voice and the comfort I felt hearing the language made me feel like I was home. Not my home from when I was a child but home, deep inside myself.

So no worries, I can do this this.
I don't think I will ever be able to speak a million miles an hour like a lot of Italians do but I am confident that I will be able to ask the builder how much it will be to fix that kitchen wall that fell down last night.
To tell the chef at the restaurant not to serve me anything with poppy seeds as I have a bad allergy and will die if I eat them.
To tell the butcher that I would like my chicken without the feet as they are freaking me out.
To be able to understand directions when I get lost because I just had to see what was over the next hill.
To be able to tell some hot Italian guy that he has the sexy eyes of a gypsy, lips good enough to lick and a body made just for me. (wait a minute. I'm just writing that down in my notebook to ask my Italian teacher to translate that for me as that sentence is important!)

So I can do this. Learn a new language in six months. No worries. Piece of cake

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