An Italian Straight from Heaven

Sitting in the same office was another foreigner, who remained silent. I spoke to him in English but he didn’t understand. I had come prepared to speak a little Portuguese, so I tried that—still no understanding. Curiously enough, he turned out to be Italian. Despite that language’s similarity to Portuguese, he had a mental block and couldn’t understand a word. We finally conversed together in Spanish. He had come to Brazil for a crocodile hunt; he had the boat and crew hired but could not communicate with any of the crew. It was a stand-off. An instant idea occurred to everyone. How about my going along on the crocodile hunt. I could talk to the captain and crew in Portuguese and a little English; I could talk to the Italian in Spanish and a little Italian from time to time. It was a deal. I signed on as interpreter.


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