I must learn how to say “I am not a shoplifter” in Italian


Husband & wife team Fiona and Mat lived in Mogliano Veneto a town and comune in the province of Treviso in northern Italy for a tumultuous 6 months with Fiona blogging about her expat experience


The out of town shopping centre in Macron just outside Venice seemed the perfect way to while away a few hours whilst looking for some birthday presents for Mat. I also hoped to get a feel for the new season styles; I obviously look ‘English’ with the amount of stares I receive so I thought that buying some Italian clothes may help me blend in more!

I headed to Footlocker initially and was startled by the sales assistant almost jumping on me as soon as I walked through the door. She stood so close to me that she blocked my ability to actually view any of their shoes. I moved and she moved, I stepped back and she stepped forward, I peered around her and she moved her head blocking my view. Uncomfortable doesn’t quite cover the experience. Had I been in the UK I would have asked her to move back and to respect my personal space but as the sum total of my Italian currently extends to “good morning, how are you, I’m tired / cold / hungry, can I have one / two / three coffees / beers please” I didn’t feel that any of my well-rehearsed phrases would help the situation. I left feeling more than slightly flustered.

This trend continued….

Unfortunately, it appears that overnight I have developed the ability to set off every shop alarm in Italy. Having endured a very embarrassing one sided exchange (me, “Non parlo Italiano” .. them … well who knows what was said!) with five different shop managers and security guards I beat a hasty retreat from the shopping centre.

Thankfully the one shop I needed to visit to buy my husband’s birthday present didn’t have an alarm so at least he’ll have something to open in the morning!

Task for tomorrow; learn how to say “I am not a shoplifter” in Italian!