Paws for thought

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 June, 2012, 12:00am


I love being in the office with Team YP, but what I love even more is when someone takes me out with them: on a story, to interview someone or, best of all, on a trip overseas! I've been all over Asia and Europe, and still want to see more places. I guess that's the thing about the travel bug - unlike other bugs, it's unsquishable!

This weekend, I'm heading with the deputy ed to the Eternal City - Rome! The capital of Italy is the heart of an ancient civilisation and a birthplace of Western culture.

It's full of famous sights such as the Colosseum (where gladiators used to fight), the Vatican City (where the Pope lives) and Trevi Fountain (where you can throw a coin in the fountain to make your wish come true).

Rome is also world-famous for its food - so you can imagine how excited this puppy is! Some Roman specialities include Spaghetti alla Carbonara, saltimbocca and deep-fried artichokes. Yummy!

Italians are well known for being passionate and expressive. They have a beautiful language. So far I've learned to say 'Buon giorno', which means 'Hello', and 'Io vorrei la carne', which means 'I'd like some meat!' Surely that's all I'll need to say.

Italians also use lots of hand gestures - paw gestures in my case, hee hee. It sounds like Italians have a gesture for everything! The most common one seems to be when you touch your fingers and thumb together and move your hand up and down. It seems it can mean 'where', 'why' or 'what on Earth are you talking about?' Very useful, especially for a lost pup!

To say 'I don't care', you just brush your hand under your chin. If someone is plotting a cunning scheme, you point at your eye from below. My favourite: if you think something is beautiful, you twiddle your imaginary moustache!

There are lots more I should learn so while I'm studying, check out this quiz of international hand gestures:

1 In Bolivia, you are waiting for a bus but the driver gives you the so-so gesture (twisting the flat, open hand). This means...

a) Give me a tip to get on; b) Get on; c) It's full

2 In Honduras, a finger placed below the eye means ...

a) I'm watching you; b) I disagree; c) Be careful

3 When an Arab brings the tips of all fingers and thumb together and bobs the hand up and down, this means ...

a) Calm down; b) Hurry up; c) Go away

4 What does the OK gesture mean in Japan?

a) Money; b) Slow down; c) You're late


1. c, 2. c, 3. a, 4. a