A couple of days ago there appeared here in the friary a Brazilian diocesan priest to make of himself, like me, a beginning Italian student. Tonight he arrived at supper with a vocabulary list containing the various names of things related to food and meals. The brothers seemed to find this very entertaining, and enjoyed pointing out and displaying instances of the various terms: plates and bowls and glasses, forks, knives, and spoons, bread and wine and cheeses, fruits, vegetables, pasta and meat. But one little trouble was encountered when an item was found on the list that was not in evidence in the refectory: la birra.
Well, apparently unwilling to be shown up by someone's Italian homework, Father Guardian summoned his minion to the head of the table, who then scurried off and returned moments later with a chilled bottle of Beck's for anyone who wanted one. This was all very surprising to me, as I have lived in this friary for almost six weeks and have never even seen a bottle of beer, much less been offered one.
So I guess it pays to do your homework. Who knew?