I hadn’t planned it that way, didn’t even realise until it was too late, but yesterday was a meat free day – thanks, in no small part, to my rusty Italian skills.
It started quite normally with a bowl of cereal, progressing to a lunch of cheese sandwiches dipped into cup-a-soup. By the time I got to Pizza Express (other pizza establishments are available, however, in the author’s opinion, not as good), I was foaming like a crazed carnivore, thinking about four corners of meaty pizza goodness. So, I confidently ordered – no need to look at the menu, we all know that quattro formaggi is four corners, right … only it isn’t. What I should have asked for was stagioni, but by the time I realised my mistake it was too late.
This was not my first foreign language faux pas. I managed to embarrass myself in a Venice pharmacy with the straightforward question: “Dove posso mangiare crema del sol?” With a bemused look on her face, the assistant, rubbing her arms, repeated, “crema del sol.” And then realisation dawned. I’d asked where I could eat sun cream. Well, at least I tried to speak native!
To be honest, I wasn’t too disappointed by my mistake in the pizzeria. The pizza was delicious, and realising I’d not had any meat that day made me feel quite good in an ethical sort of way. I can’t see myself ever becoming a vegetarian, but I think I will make a conscious effort to have meat free days. After all, the less I eat meat, the less I impact the environment – and it’s probably better for my health too.