Tales of a wandering lesbian

Sidenote: Mosco

Sidenote:  Mosco

The mosquitoes in southern Italy can be bad.  So bad, they drove the Greeks from Paestum when they wiped the city out with malaria.

We experienced these bad boys in a major way.  With around 20 bites a piece, we headed to the pharmacy to try to find some spray.

It was pretty early in the trip, and I was still trying to get my vocab bearings.  I walked up to the clerk and declared, “qualcosa per mosco,” pantomiming something flying through the air and stinging me.  I knew that I knew the word for “mosquito,” somewhere in the back of my brain.  Mosco seemed to fit.

“Afterbite?” came the question from the clerk.  Sure, it wasn’t really a surprise that she figured out I couldn’t speak much Italian.

It wasn’t until after we’d walked out of the store that I realized my mistake.  While “mosca” is “fly,” “zanzara” is “mosquito.”  “Mosco” either meant nothing at all, or it meant mosque.  I wasn’t sure.  I could see a picture of a fly in the children’s vocabulary book I’d studied months earlier, but I couldn’t remember seeing a picture of a mosque.

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3 comments

1 Camille { 06.19.10 at 9:48 am }

I’m thinking you told her that you needed something for the musk deer (and I’m also thinking 20 deer bites would be a major bummer). If you want to go to the mosque after getting bit by musk deer, look for the signs to la moschea (and watch out for le zanzare).

2 Heather { 06.19.10 at 10:30 pm }

Reminds me of the time I went to Spain, when I was fluent in Spanish, mind you, and forgot the subtle difference between ano and aῆo. One means “year” and one means “asshole,” as in literally the sphincter, not the adjective. Awesome.

3 Zazu { 08.28.11 at 9:02 am }

Eh sì! “La parola Mosco” non esiste 😀
Zanzare are everywhere in Italy: South, East, West, North, Coast… everywhere. I really enjoy your pharmacy adventure. The mistake was worth this funny post! (or vice versa?)
Nice, really nice…

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