04 March 2009

“Go” fishing

Tuesday mornings when I go over to the mercato in Lido, I sometimes run into this fellow, patiently dipping his line into a small, murky canal that looks very unlikely to yield any fish. We meet and greet as I come and go on my shopping expedition.

The first time we met, I was curious to know what he was angling for, and he told me: “Go.” We have a real language barrier. He only speaks what I believe to be pure Venetian dialect, because I can barely make any sense of it. Still, I have gathered that the little fish he catches – goby – are bony but very tasty when fried and served red-hot with just a sprinkling of salt and pepper. (I have since learned from other Venetians that they are also good cooked in risotto, to which they lend a yellow tint.)

By the time I finish up at the mercato and make my way back, the go fisherman has usually caught enough for a decent little lunch. He doesn’t mind showing me the reward for his morning’s efforts; I admire his catch with a big smile. And then we say, “Ciao!”

My question is this: who in the world do you suppose he thinks I am?