Friday, January 27, 2023

Rome Journal: Chow!

The Man in the High Castle envisioned a parallel universe where the Axis powers won the Second World War. But say you applied the same conceit to the current world order. China is Near is a film by Marco Bellochio. Say the Chinese invaded Italy rather than Taiwan--whose acquisition, for Xi Jinping, is a fait accompli that doesn’t even require an invasion. Invading Taiwan would be an admission it was a separate country. Ah but Italy is different. The first thing the Chinese are going to do when they land at Fiumicino is to change “ciao” to “chow.” “Ciao" has always been a hard word for Americans to spell so they too will welcome a change in the spelling of the familiar salutation. Chow is like chow mein and chow mein is like Spaghetti Bolognese two dishes that constitute mixed marriages. Just as there's Chinese and Chinese-American food (the latter symbolized by the #1 combination plate, chow mein, fried rice and egg roll), there's Italian and Italian-American food. Another favored Italian-American dish is your veal parm hero. Lots of Americans come to Italy equipped with little books of phrases which include grazie, prego, arrivederci (as in Roma) and "ciao!" The average American pronounces this last like the meow of a cat, chi ow, when the transliteration is really “chow.” Why not go for it? To the conquerer goes the spoils. The Normans invaded England in 1066 and voila. The bad news is China's a threat, the good news, no one will ever mispronounce “ciao” again.

read "The DSM--Goodreads**" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

and listen to "Tell It Like It Is"by Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville and Gregg Allman

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.