Learning my limitations
I could speak Italian fairly well when I first went to Italy. But once in a while, I encountered an expression which I understood literally, but not figuratively. It still happens, and it keeps me from being overly confident.
I remember ordering a drink at a bar once when I was with Uncle Simon. I asked for a Sambuca, and the bartender asked me if I wanted it "with flies." Realizing immediately that I would be baffled by this, Uncle Simon was already looking at me when I turned to him for help. " 'Flies' means coffee beans," Uncle Simon said to me "The bartender wants to know whether you want him to put a few coffee beans in your Sambuca."
I smiled and nodded for the "flies." They were delicious with the Sambuca. Uncle Simon was as attentive and as tactful as could be. God bless him.