Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Price and the Venetian Price

At the risk of making sweeping generalizations, the Venetian people are generally suspicious, whether about other people or things or events. I am reading a 700 page book about the history of Venice (fascinating) which seems to confirm this theory throughout their history. So, I am assuming this general suspiciousness is one of the reasons they aren't quite as friendly as they could be.

People are starting to recognize me now in various establishments as a person who is here longer than a 2 week vacation. However, I am far from welcomed and included. I get an occasional head nod to let me know that they have seen my face before but I am not at the point of getting a 'Buona Giornata' (have a good day). It's much like high school. For those of you who had to make that traumatic move during your high school years to a new place, you understand immediately. There is a 'clic' and it is very difficult to get inside that clic. I imagine once you do, you are there for life, but breaking in is the test.

One of the benefits of breaking inside is that you are often charged a different price for your purchases in restaurants, etc. Yes, there is a Venetian price and a tourist price. Of course, this isn't 'public knowledge', although you hear it rumored everywhere. And, I wasnt even sure it was true until I experienced it last evening.

I went to dinner with a new friend who has lived here for almost 6 years. She has a restaurant that she frequents and we went there. I was immediately welcomed because I was with her and we had a great meal. But the bill just didn't add up to what we ordered on the menu. In fact, it was about 1/3 less. And then that is when the rumor became reality to me.

Now in America, we do nice things for our 'regulars' and perhaps give them a free dessert or drink occasionally but never would we or could we charge 2 different prices. But then again, one of the fallacies of living here is thinking in any way, shape or form like an American! I just wish I would have known before that I was getting a discount because I would have ordered another glass of wine and dessert! haha

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