The Language Broker

 Daily Prompt: Take that, Rosetta!

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

~*~

“You mean I have to choose … just one?” Sadie sat with her arms folded, a pout kissing her rouged lips. “But I’m travelling all over Europe, and I need to have every language if I’m going to do it properly. I want to buy the complete package of languages, please.”

Jorge, the language broker, understood her frustration. He’d seen it all before. Intrepid travellers strutting into his little language shop wanting the complete language package but not understanding how it worked.

“Look,” he responded with all charm tinged in Spanish melody, “The complete package comes one language at a time. You cannot buy them all at once. It is too overwhelming. You will need to pick a country … a language.”

Sadie sighed. Perhaps she was biting off more than she could chew. She looked in her purse and pulled out a treasured, tattered map of Europe. How long had she wished to travel to its many richly textured countries and savour its culinary delights with the advantage of knowing each of its many languages.  The language broker’s magical powers would make it possible, yet not as she’d imagined.

“If I buy a language from you, you can guarantee overnight delivery ~ however it is you do it ~ and it’s mine for life?”

“Yes, this is so,” Jorge, a master of languages, confirmed.

“And I will be fluent?”

“Si.”

“And then I can come back at a future time and buy another language exactly the same way, and it would be mine for life as well?”

“Again, this is so.” Jorge smiled. “You can have as many languages as you wish, but I cannot give them to you all at once. Information overload, you understand.”

Sadie was, indeed, beginning to understand. She really wanted to soak in all there was to experience in the many countries on her bucket list, but perhaps she had been thinking of going about it the wrong way. Her life was about travel now. She had all the time in the world. Why shouldn’t she take one country, and language, at a time and truly savour all it had to offer.

“Señor Jorge, you have helped me to see the light,” Sadie smiled in return. “I will, in fact, only invest in one language at this time, since it is mine to keep forever and I can add others in the future.” She reached into her wallet for a credit card. “You say your language impression code takes only a couple of hours during sleep to implant and is completely harmless?”

“Completely,” he assured.

“Any other people around when it happens?”

“You may have as many people in the room as you wish,” Jorge detected a hint of vulnerability. “You need not worry. My methods are non-invasive and restorative. You will feel better when you awaken then you did before you slept. A whole new world will open up to you. Now … what is your language of choice?”

Sadie felt a conflict of nations roaring inside her, but knew in her heart what she wanted.

“Italy, please. I want to speak Italian.”

“Italia ! Buona scelta. Posso andare avanti subito. Amerai l’Italia ei suoi tesori di storia e molti e bei luoghi.”*

“Huh?”

Jorge smiled. “Tomorrow you will understand.”

He reached for her credit card.

~*~

Yes, Italian would be my language of choice. I would love to listen to Italian opera and understand what’s being sung without English subtitles. Not to mention I love the country, its food and its history. How many more reasons do I need?

Grazie per la visita …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2015

*Italy! Good choice. I can get on that right away. You will love Italy and its history and many treasures and beautiful sites.

Gelato Fantasy

  Daily Prompt: 32 Flavours

~*~

Gelato Fantasy

Vari-coloured gelato

Tempting every taste bud.

What to choose?

Wha’d ever you want!

It’s a vacation.

It’s Venizia …

On the Calle dei Fabri …

A minute from our hotel.

Gelato twice a day.

Molto bene!

Molto delizioso!

Nuff said!

Yummmmmm ….

~*~

Honestly … ice cream will never taste the same again.

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Getaway

Daily Prompt: Tourist Trap

What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

~*~

Hmmm … just when I’m day dreaming about getting away.

I have many dream vacations, and all involve places I’ve been or things I’ve done before.

Cariage trade in Vienna
Carriage trade in Vienna

I dream of returning to Prague and Vienna, and adding to that Budapest to complete that classic cultural triangle. My husband and I have discussed doing a river cruise and somehow integrating these three cities into such a trip. That would be awesome.

London and Paris are on my re-bucket list ~ I grew up in London so would like another chance to see it through adult eyes, and Paris needs more time. The week we spent there in 2008 simply wasn’t enough. I would also explore more of the English and French countryside.

The Villa
The villa we rented in Tuscany

Italy, of course, is high on my list. Last year we lived the dream of renting a villa in Tuscany for a week. I would do that again in a heart beat, but for a month this time. And I would return to Florence, Venice, Rome and Milan. I would love to see Lake Como.

View of Barcelona from the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
View of Barcelona from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Barcelona, of course, I would love to see again. Last time I was there I was under the weather with adrenal fatigue which made it really difficult to take it all in. I would love to experience it through clearer eyes. And explore the Spanish countryside as well, Perhaps find some Andalusian horses to photograph somewhere.

Ireland! Oh my goodness, I would love to return to the Emerald Isle. We were there three weeks in 2011 and it was amazing. Next time I want a month and to include Northern Ireland (we missed that last time) and more time on the Atlantic coast. And to stay in manor houses and castles again. That was fun.

Irish Pastoral
Emerald Isle

Scotland, too. Yes, that’s high on my list of vacation priorities. Inverness where much of my Scottish ancestry is to be found, in particular.

Warmer climates? Certainly. I’ve never been to Arizona or New Mexico. I think that would be fun. So many warm colours, and art; so much turquoise and cowboy culture. Wyoming, though not necessarily warmer has mountains. I’d like to see Jackson Hole.

Hawaii’s on the list, in spite of the fact there was a tsunami warning the last time we visited. That was special. But it’s so beautiful there so worth another go.

Beautiful America Bay in New South Wales, Australia
Beautiful America Bay in New South Wales, Australia

I’d return to Australia. Do more exploring than the last time when my experience was akin to that of Barcelona.

Mostly right now I just need to get away.

I think I hear an Ontario spa calling …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Bittersweet

Daily Prompt: Five a Day

You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

~*~

“I’m not playing their game. Not today … not any day,” Gertrude announced to the rather large strawberry she was dipping into a warm vat of melted dark chocolate. “All these restrictions … I’m really rather bored with it.”

She popped the chocolate-covered berry into her mouth and savoured its warm, bittersweet taste. To her left an array of fresh fruit awaited her pleasure. Banana, pineapple, mango … a food group ~ one of five she’d negotiated.

The health spa had offered to provide a basket of food for a picnic but would only include five foods.

“What do you mean only five foods?'” Gertrude wanted to know. “That’s simply ridiculous! I’m a guest on this private island, not a captive! Now, I’ve paid good money to get away from it all and I want a picnic basket with five food groups. Am I clear?”

“But madame, isn’t that the same thing?” the handsome spa concierge asked, bewildered.

“Not at all!” Gertrude’s fuse was shortening. “I want a selection of fresh fruit to dip in a vat of melted dark chocolate to be delivered to a location of my choice; a selection of fresh vegetables with a side of hummus; a triple-cream brie with a fresh French baguette; a good quality Argentinian Malbec, and a bottle of spring water. Is that too much to ask?”

“But that’s more than five food groups, madame.”

“It is? No matter. I never was any good at math.” Gertrude stood firm. “That’s what I want. If it isn’t included in my spa package, add it to my bill. That is all.”

Gertrude smiled at the memory of her little victory as she cast her gaze out to the warm, rippling ocean, and reached absently for a piece of fruit. She dipped it into the dark melted chocolate. It escaped.

“Damn and blast!” she cursed, and grabbed a silver fork from the wicker picnic basket to fish it out.

“Never trust pineapple … bad pineapple,” she sighed as she finally managed to jab the fork into its side. She allowed the excess chocolate to drip back into the vat before carefully slipping the errant fruit into her mouth. “Hmmmm … good pineapple ….” Gertrude swooned, dropping the fork and flopping into the blanket that covered the bit of beach under what had become her favourite shade palm.

Above her she noticed a bunch of coconuts hovering precariously.

“Oh, I forgot about you …” she smiled. “I’ll include you in tomorrow’s five food groups.”

Captive, indeed.

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Never of Travel

Daily Prompt: No, Thanks

Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?

~*~

Never is a long time.

People change. Places change.

In the mid 1990s, with the Siege of Sarajevo raging, I might have said I “never” want to go to Sarajevo.

Rush hour from our hotel window at the Radon PlazaAnd yet, in 2009 I unexpectedly joined my husband on a business trip to this battle-scarred city and my experience of it, and Bosnia-Herzagovina in general, changed my life profoundly. I found a piece of myself there I’d no idea even existed. As a result, I have a fondness for that beautiful city that goes deeper than for many other places I’ve visited.

So, to say there are places I’d never want to visit is, to my mind at least, somewhat shortsighted. You just never know when fate or circumstance will take you somewhere you never thought you’d want to visit, and how marvellous the experience will be.

Having said all that, I might add that living with adrenal fatigue the past few years has made me acutely aware of my limitations when it comes to travel.

No adventure travel. Nowhere too exotic. Nowhere I can’t eat the food. Nowhere I can’t get a good night’s sleep.

My recovering nervous system can only handle so much.

So, instead of focusing on the “never” of travel I turn my attention to what’s possible.

Never is a long time. I prefer to think that at some point in the not too distant future my health will support travelling somewhere I might never have considered because of it.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015