A Man and His Word

September 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm 11 comments


A View of the Hilltown of Orvieto from a Distance
Time and time again, I’ve heard women say that men can’t keep promises. As a man, I don’t take offense with that. I know full well what they mean. I’m often quilty as charged. For example, take the case of the promise I made to myself. Back from Italy, I promised that I’d learn Italian. I was so serious about learning the language that I bought a Learning Italian CD to help me out, but I haven’t lived up to the expectation. As far as the Italian language is concerned, I’m still where I left off. I haven’t made any progress at all. In fact, I might even have retrogressed.

I’ve been to Italy twice and I’ll never get tired visiting it again and again. I’ve been to places north and south, but if given the opportunity to insinuate myself and be invited to live with an Italian family, I’d prefer one residing in a small town or city like Orvieto that has a population of 21,000.

Italy is definitely rich in the arts and architectures. Even small towns and cities have something to offer. In Orvieto, for example, you can go to the Chapel of St. Brizio where Signorelli’s works are displayed. It has been said that Michelangelo used to visit this place to study Signorelli’s nudes. I could see that many visitors are delighted in looking at finished works of arts such as these. I am, too, but to a lesser extent now. After being to many museums and historical landmarks, I’ve become more interested in breathing in the air, watching the landscapes, and observing the locals that have provided the setting or inspiration for the artists.

In fact, the most memorable moment from my last visit was going to a farm in Montone, hunting for truffles, and being served home cooked meals. On this occasion, I think, I experienced the real meaning of Italian hospitality. It was priceless.

I hope that I can save enough money to go back to Italy again. This time around, I should be able to handle real conversation in Italian, albeit with an accent. Otherwise, I’d have to rely on the old standbys again, i.e. resorting to caveman talk and practicing the art of making gestures to communicate. I just hope I make the right gestures everytime and that they don’t get misinterpreted especially by people who can do you real harm.

Caveman talk examples:

Non capisco (i don’t understand) – good response to a friendly but overeager street vendor trying to sell you souvenirs.

Buon giorno (good day) – effective ice breaker even a mugger would appreciate. Use with caution, though. Dn’t say it to a woman having a period. But then how do you know?

Permesso (excuse me) – useful when wading through a crowd, looking for the restroom.

Mama mia (oh my goodness!) – excellent way of showing your sophistication while looking at those nude statues.

Arrivederci (good-bye) – totally handy as you slowly turn away from an approaching panhandler.


At the time of making a promise, I don’t think we really intend to break it. But though the spirit is willing, the flesh may be weak. Lfe being what it is, things get in the way. We continue to evolve. We find perspectives and circumstances change. As a result, priorities get reshuffled making it difficult to keep our word.

If the promise is made to ourselves, it wouldn’t be as damaging as when another party is involved. But either way, our credibility suffers. That’s no good unless you’re thinking of running for political office. The true measure of a man is his word. Therefore, I promise not to make any more promises. Opps! There I go again.

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11 Comments Add your own

  • […] a man and his word | Musings of a Random Mind […]

  • 2. Amy  |  September 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I love Orvieto 🙂

    • 3. plaridel  |  October 2, 2013 at 8:16 am


      I know the feeling. 🙂

  • 4. Travel with me #photography #poetry | Moondustwriter's Blog  |  September 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    […] a man and his word | Musings of a Random Mind […]

  • 5. Clyde Gonzales  |  September 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Many people bypass this part of Italy on their way to Tuscany, Umbria, Venizia or Como. But a week in this region will surprise and delight; not to mention steals your heart. If you are a lover of Italy, don’t miss this special area. And I promise you will return, as I have so many times.

    • 6. plaridel  |  October 2, 2013 at 8:18 am


      I’ve heard that it’s a place where the actual inhabitants outnumber the tourists. people don’t know what they’re missing. 🙂

  • 7. Daily Prompt: On the Road | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss  |  September 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    […] a man and his word | Musings of a Random Mind […]

  • 8. Simon Gutierrez  |  October 2, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Wake up and turn on your television set. You don’t necessarily have to be watching it to get the benefit – the background noise of Italians in conversation is seeping in. By bombarding your brain with the spoken word, you can train your “ear” to the musical rhythm/cadence of this beautiful language. Repetitive listening and repeating out loud helps with pronunciation. It’s like gymnastics for your tongue while reminding you the importance of enunciating each and every letter to avoid changing a word’s meaning entirely as in penne (a kind of pasta) and pene (penis). Otherwise, dialogue at the supermarket could get interesting.

    • 9. plaridel  |  October 2, 2013 at 8:21 am


      you’re so right. 🙂

  • […] 172. do you – Inherently Whimsical 173. Commit to the Follow Through – Life…As I Know It 174. Musings of a Random Mind – A Man and His Word 175. Hot Dogs and Marmalade – A Pen Dream 176. Forced Commitments – Desertedroad 177. An […]

    • 11. plaridel  |  July 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      thank you for the pingback! much appreciated.


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i have hated the words and i have loved them, and i hope i have made them right.

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