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A hole in your pocket! 0

We were in Piazza Risorgimento for lunch today. Nothing special. Francesca’s mom was hungry so we stopped at a place that makes salads. At a certain point a gypsy walked up to our table and asked for money. The waiter rushed over and said to the gypsy, “Don’t disturb the priest while he’s eating!”

The gypsy started to protest and the waiter repeated, “Leave the priest in peace!”

The priest . . . was me. Being winter and kind of cold, I was wearing my black trench coat buttoned up and a black scarf knotted around my neck.

Both Francesca and her mom were in tears, laughing.

At the end of the meal, when the waiter left the 35-euro bill, Francesca’s mom paid with 40 euros. The waiter took the money and said, “I’ll bring the change?” The way he phrased the statement as a question his intention was obvious.

When the waiter returned with a 5-euro note, he practically launched it at us.

Minutes later Francesca’s mom left to use the bathroom, leaving 2 euros as a tip, which in Italian standards is normal, but for tourists could be considered less than acceptable. When the waiter returned and saw the two euros, he approached the table, looked me in the eye, and asked, “Was everything okay, Father?”

“Absolutely,” I said.

He flicked his finger at the 2-euro coin, and asked, “So who’s this for? The busboy?”

“I guess it’s for whomever,” I said.

“I hope it burns a hole in your pocket!” he yelled, and then stormed off.

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