Last Wednesday I ate lunch with my friend Dinah who works in the publications department at the Museum.
We always eat outside in the garden, this time we sat in my favorite spot under the trees.
Half way through lunch a man sat down next to us and made a call on his cell phone.
“That man’s talking in Italian,” Dinah whispered to me.
“So….,” I didn’t even bother to look up.
“I mean he’s talking on his cell phone in Italian,”
“Yeah and so what? It’s August.”
“What’s August got to do with him being Italian?” she looked at me as if I were completely wacko. Perhaps all these years of standing at my cash register has made me crazy.
“The Europeans take their summer vacations in August,” I said.
She looked unimpressed. “I thought we’re having our lunch in Los Angeles.”
“Hah hah I forgot, I thought I was still in Spain!” I said, but when she didn’t laugh, I told her, “I’m sure a large percentage of the visitors walking around the garden today are tourists from Europe. I’ve heard people speaking Italian every day this month. And French, German, Dutch and Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew too… and of course Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Danish, Swedish, Finnish…in fact I think everyone I served this morning spoke a foreign language.”
I think that impressed her.