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How To Book A Taxi ‘In Italiano’ (plus ‘Book of the Week’ last days)

I’m writing at the speed of light this morning, well almost, as I have to be on the other side of town in 45 mintues for the annual meeting of ASILS, which this year is being held in Bologna.

It’s a chance to exchange gossip and moans with other school owners, and there’s always an excellent lunch.

So, to business: today’s ‘Italian conversation with transcript’ will show you how to book a taxi over the phone.

Click here to listen, or view this and the previous 52 dialogues on our Italian Conversations homepage.


Next, ‘grazie mille’ to everyone who emailed me their ‘vote’ on paying online via Paypal or Amazon.

It was so much fun to hear from people all over the world, shame though it was on such a dry subject.

Club members, all 4360 of you, please feel free to email me any time with questions about Italian (I’ll ask my wife), learning Italian, teaching Italian, our online resources, our ebooks and online lessons, or just to say ‘Ciao’.

In fact, especially just to say ‘Ciao’, because that’s really nice!

Oh, and for what it’s worth, about a third of you thought Amazon was better than Paypal, another third were happy with Paypal and didn’t think I needed to change, and some people in the middle would be happy to have a choice.

So, I’ll be looking to add the Amazon option at some point…


Last few days for the ‘Book of the Week’ offer, which ends on Sunday.

Cena con delitto is half price (€4.99 instead of €9.99) in our online shop until Sunday, after which it reverts to the full price and won’t be on offer again until the summer, when we have our next sale. "Cena con delitto", Italian easy reader level A1/ A2

Download your FREE sample chapter (.pdf)

If you like it, and if the level’s right for you (or will be when you’ve improved a bit), follow the links below to get the full copy at the disounted price:

Buy ‘Cena con delitto’ | Browse e-books | Online Italian lessons

New dialogue, Paypal vs. Amazon, & Italian easy reader offer

Dialogue 52 in our Italian Conversations series is set in a railway station ticket office.

Visualize the scene – lots of irate people with heavy bags, everyone pushing and shoving, the din of a train arriving at platform one, announcements on the public address system detailing the inevitable delays, and when it’s finally your turn, the ticket clerk is almost inaudible behind a dirty perspex screen.

“Scusi, ma non ho sentito!” you yell over the row, and everyone stares at you.

“Straniero!” they’re thinking…

Got that scene in front of you?

Excellent, then when you’ve tried today’s dialogue, please don’t rush to e-mail me that there’s lots of background noise, that you can’t make out a word of the conversation and what the hell do I think I’m doing?

Our Italian teacher volunteers did this intentionally, they assure me.

They planned to record the dialogue in the high-ceilinged reception area of our Italian school, right at the moment when all the classes were emptying out and the students were gathering, ready to head to the bar for their mid-morning coffee.

I usually slam the door to my office at that point.

“But stations ARE noisy”, they told me. “It’ll be better that way!”

You can decide for yourself. Here’s the link you need to listen:

Listen FREE to today’s conversationDiscover all 52 dialogues in the series

Who do you hate more? Amazon or Paypal?

Yesterday we had one of our occasional customer service issues involving a lady from Australia who apparently pressed the wrong button on her smartphone while trying to pay with Paypal.

It all got sorted out, but the experience put her off somewhat. She won’t be buying any more e-books, she says, as she hates using Paypal.

I quite understood – I’m no fan either. Those of us who sell through their platform face stiff fees on each transaction and benefit from zero support, despite earning them thousands each year.

That said, though, when I’m BUYING I use them quite happily, because I know they’ll back me up in case of fraud or a dispute with the seller.

So, pros and cons. Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning it is that we’re being wooed by Amazon, who suggests we add their ‘Pay with Amazon’ service to our online shop.

Apparently, the idea is that, when you want to stock up on e-books or online Italian lessons, you don’t have the hassle of filling in your card details, name, address, and so on in the usual way.

Instead you can ‘Pay with Amazon’, using your Amazon username and password to access the credit card you have previously stored on their secure server, all without leaving our site.

Sounds like a neat idea, at least for those of you who shop at Amazon. Personally, I’m boycotting them…

However there would be lots of technical issues to resolve – we’d need something called an SSL certificate (to certify our site is secure), plus there are loads of bureaucratic hoops to jump through, and technical stuff to do to set it all up.

So, the question is, Paypal or Amazon?

Would it be less hassle to pay with your Amazon account when buying from our online shop?

Or are you good with Paypal?

Or do you dislike both companies equally and so don’t have a preference?

Or (final option), are you just here for the free stuff and so really don’t care?

Comments on this would be welcome. A little feedback would help me decide whether it’s worth the time and trouble to add the Amazon option.

If you know how to leave a comment, go ahead and vote that way. Otherwise, email me your views.

‘Book of the Week’ offer reminder

Talking of buying stuff, don’t forget our ‘Book of the Week’ offer on the Italian easy reader e-book Cena con delitto.

It’s half price (€4.99 instead of €9.99) in our online shop until Sunday."Cena con delitto", Italian easy reader level A1/ A2

Download the FREE sample chapter (.pdf)

Done that?

So, what did you think of Chapter 1? Good, huh?


Buy ‘Cena con delitto’ | Browse e-books | Online Italian lessons

P.S. If all goes smoothly, next week we’ll be publishing our first sci-fi easy Italian reader! Look out for that on Monday…

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