harbertby Sophie Harbert

Last Wednesday during market, I spotted a woman shopping with her dog. I bent over and extended my hand tentatively toward the dog, trying to gauge whether it would allow me to pet it. “Hello, buddy” I said, “Are you a friendly dog?” The woman responded in English, without any discernible accent, “Yes, he’s very friendly .” For a split second, I was speechless. She had just been conversing in very rapid Italian with one of the vendors. Since many of the people we’ve encountered in Cagli speak only a little English, if they speak English at all, I assumed the woman spoke only Italian. As it turned out, she was born in Cagli and has lived here for over twenty years, but had also lived in San Francisco. I should know better, but still fall into the trap of making assumptions about people.

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