The First Thing They Teach You Is Never Assume



You know that’s the thing. If I had a nickel for every time someone figured I couldn’t possibly know anything when I visit his or her country. How could I not? Being an outsider you have to know more, where you’re going, how to get there and most importantly what to do when you get there. Take these two women for instance:


I’d flown in to this lovely little town in Northern Italy on holiday. For fun I thought I’d check out public transportation instead of shimmering around like usual, faster of course but as everyone knows public transportation abroad is top notch. I’d taken the funicolare, a tram that gets you up the mountain and then the bus to get closer to the upper city. These two women who were dressed to the nines and feeling no pain from what I could tell got on and were having trouble with the ticket dispenser. They looked at me and knew I wasn’t from around there automatically figuring there would be no way I could help not speaking their language which translated into I couldn’t know how it worked anyway. I watched them fumble and fuss though laughing at themselves the whole time until finally they gave up and sat down. I stood, went to the machine and retrieved the one ticket they thought they’d lost. Looking at each other they busted out laughing and said in Italian, you’re the one who’s not from here and you know how to work the machine – rough translation but you get it. The other walked to me, I showed her what to do and she got her ticket. When they got off they were both still laughing about how the person who didn’t speak Italian knew how to buy a ticket. I waved ciao, ciao and continued on with the bus then decided to shimmer off and fly around a bit. I noticed the two leaving a pub and flew in close to them to say hello. They were startled to say the least as I uncloaked myself and my ride, this big pussycat of a griffin with the softest fur, brooms can be a little uncomfortable – don’t know how they did it back in the day. In fact they stopped laughing and their jaws dropped. “Never assume” I smiled to them, scratched Pikachu behind the ear (yeah, he just loves watching those cartoons) saying, “let’s go”! He raised us up and I watched as one stepped back from the sidewalk stumble sitting into a puddle in the street as she kept staring up. The other hadn’t budged or taken her eyes of me. I laughed out loud as we disappeared behind the clouds.


That’s 10 cents right there. Of course if the exchange rate is still around the way it was or better yet the euro’s gotten more valuable over the American dollar, I could make 20, 25 cents for every time. Even half I’d be making out like a bandit.


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