Eating pizza alone in Genoa

As those who know me will confirm, I have moments of social brilliance and ease and then there are those other moments, when Mr Bean looks like the twin I was seperated from at birth. And he's just an actor …

So last night I decided I would brave the pizzeria across the alleyway, without Paola's mum there with her Italiano. I started confidently, having woken from a nap imagining I could do anything, even without language.

Ordering the Napoli pizza went just fine but the red wine was where I went so wrong. There is a pizza called rosso-something and so began the unravelling of Di as a relatively intelligent adult.

I gave my order by pointing at the menu, as per Simon's book of how to point in any language. Then the lovely old man, another customer, opened the fridge for me … the wine, beer and etc are stored in it and most adult customers are deemed intelligent enough to get their own drink. OhdearGod!

I knew their music had woken me from my nap, their opening shop music, and I know this pizzaria rocks through the night with its own in-crowd. I knew I had to hurry, feeling as linguistically deficient as I do in these days alone in Genoa

I chose a table where I could look out into the alleyway, a mistake because it also put me in prime position in the dining room.  I didn't realise until the place started filling and then, sigh, then they gave me a plastic knife and fork, which makes sense because of the thin pizza crust but did real Genovese use them?

Pizza etiquette...
I smsed Gert holding in that nervous, oh-my-god-I-don't-have-any-idea laughter. I opted to switch between the plastic utensils and eating with my hands because, as luck would have it, I was the first one served and I couldn't check out what anyone else was doing. There was me, the lone foreigner, quite possibly breaking 50 of the 99 how-to-eat-pizza-with-dignity rules.

The pizza … oh the Napoli pizza is so good here. Not too many anchovies, just right amount of cheese and tomato. The red wine is fine chilled, the music is good and loud, and the surroundings are purely delicious.

All this insecurity is just about me feeling very much like a child of the South Pacific in this ancient city.

The good news … well, when I bit into that terrifyingly hard piece of pizza topping, I was A. able to remove it from my mouth relatively discretely and B. identify the crunch.  Just like last time, the end of that plastic fork prong had snapped off when I bit it.  What's that about?  I've never bitten my forks  before.

Oh, and my leftovers fitted into the rubbish container without incident. If you knew the amount of worry I had invested in whether or not I could smoothly drop my leftovers and their cardboard base into that bag, I do believe you would applaud about now.

And the clown bows …