Humor of Not Speaking Italian

Humor of Not Speaking Italian is from a book by humorist Bill Bryson titled

‘Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe’, page 166.

This excerpt is about the humor of not speaking Italian in a police station in Italy.


A young policeman, who was taking down details from a woman with a bruised face, looked at me irritably for disturbing him twice in two hours.

“Do you speak Italian?” he said [in English].


“Then come back tomorrow. There will be an English-speaking policeman here then.”

This rather overlooked the fact that his own English seemed entirely adequate to the task.

“Why didn’t you tell me this two hours ago?”

I inquired with the semishrill voice of someone challenging an armed person.

“Come back tomorrow.”


Link to buy Bill Bryson's book ‘Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe’ from

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