I love and will pick up just about any travel guide that is out there, but old travel books are especially coveted by myself. Why? Well, you would have to crack one open to understand.
Most of my travel novels I read like novels, but the old ones are slow savor material. Not because they don't read like novels, oh no, but because they are rare and too good to blow through in a night.
So, I have had this Spoken Italian for Travelers and Tourists, tiny little green book, published in 1946. Its part guidebook part pocket translator. There is also an entire section of potential conversations that one might find them-self engaged in.
Just found this one and it is the perfect example of why I grab each and every old guidebook I find.
So here is the Italian
1. Mi insegue un vigile stradale.
2. Alto! Si metta a lato espoenga il motore.
3. Che cosa he fatto dimale? Sono forestiero e non conosco i regolamenti.
4. Non e lei che procedeva a zigzag?
5. Non e lei che per peco investura una vecchia?
And the translation
25. Violations with responses
1. A traffic officer is following me.
2. Stop! Draw up to the curb and stop your motor.
3. What have I done wrong? I'm a stranger and I don't know the regulations.
4. Aren't you the one who was zigzagging along?
5. No sir. I was going very slowly.
6. Aren't you the one who nearly ran over an old lady?
C'mon, tell me you have not found yourself in a similar situation and need to take this book and the helpful conversations on your next trip. I have found myself in at least three such conversations involving old ladies in the road and each time this book has saved my skin!