It’s funny how others can see you. I was walking around town on the fourth of July, going through the market and seeing what I hadn’t yet seen.
The stands are more like a flea market than a farmer’s. There’s an array of items and colors; meats, shirts, coffee pots, underwear, watches. The dust and brick of the town and heat of the day leave an impression of being immersed in this place. I’m afraid the little point-and-shoot camera will make me stand out but no one seems to be giving me a second look. Maybe they’re that used to the tourist, even here.
The shop vendors talked to me. “Buon giorno,” I’d say, and exhaust the extent of my Italian. I can’t tell if they think I’m a local or not, it often seems they’re speaking to me in a familiar way.
But what made me laugh happened in the piazza. I saw another group of American students and stood behind them listening to their tour guide. I’m sweating into a red, white, and blue USA Rugby tee shirt and looking through big sun glasses. Two of the students turn around and look at me. They turn back to one another.
“Why is that guy wearing a USA tee?” says the first fellow.
“I don’t know. Is rugby popular here? Is our team good?” says the second.
I stand not two or three feet behind them. I grin and walk away. Later that night I’ll tell some of the other students in our group about their mistake and laugh. We had this conversation with the other group only a few yards away. The kids who thought I was a local saw me there speaking English. That made my day.