Monday, June 10, 2013

Ignorance Can Be Bliss

One of the things I’ve learned to appreciate while being here is being able to understand the language the people around me. There’s something surreal about sitting in a public place, listening, and not knowing anything being said around you. When I go into a store and a person speaks English, there’s this immediate feeling of comfort because I know I can communicate with them. However, it does make me realize how ignorant I am for not knowing another language. Listening to Ricardo translate from Italian to English during our tours, or hearing Millie converse with someone at the restaurant in Italian, or having someone tell me they speak three languages makes me realize how important it is to know multiple languages. I feel like the majority of the people in Italy can speak both English and Italian, and I value that so much.
However, there are times where it’s convenient to be ignorant. Prime example: the Sicilian fish market. We arrived in the morning and walked along the harbor in an aisle between fish stalls. Men would yell, trying to get us to come see their stalls and look at their exotic options. Some of them would smile, and girls in our group would take pictures of the precious old men holding up lobsters. We thought it was so much fun. That is, until someone told us the things being yelled at us. That’s when we realized a few life lessons, one of which being how sometimes ignorance is truly bliss.
Disclaimer: besides that the fish market really was interesting. We saw swordfish and anglerfish, and Andreas (our marine biologist guide) explained how valuable tuna eggs and testicles are. In my opinion, it was one of the most interactive and interesting tours of our time in Sicily.
Andreas showing us all the edible parts of tuna
Courtney Catalani

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