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Who's on first?

We were at a train station in Mestre, Italy, and needed to purchase two train tickets to Venice. With my trusty dictionary of Italian phrases, I knew just what to say.

Due biglietti per Venezia, per favore.” Two tickets for Venice, please.

The clerk nodded. “Venezia?” Venice?

Si.” Yes.

Due,” he said. Two.

Si. Due.

He paused. “Due.”

Si, si. Due biglietti.”

Due.” He tapped the counter, amused.

I stared at the counter, understanding finally dawning. “Due!” I opened my wallet and handed over two Euros with an embarrassed smile. He slid over two train tickets.

Due!” He grinned.

Due,” I said and grinned, too.

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