When I was living in Spanish Sevilla, everyone kept asking me if I was Italian.The most common answers were:
Option 1: “Aren’t you? I thought you were because of the name”
Option 2: ” I would swear it sounds pretty Italian…”
And my most common response was “Che ne dici? Sorry, I am not from pizzapasta country”.
In El Retiro, picturesque village near Medellín city, people asked me about Spanish equivalent of Simona.
“Simona of course, there is no other name” I said.
I understand that Michael could be Miguel or John José, but Simona is Simona, what’s that strange about this name?
If you hadn’t had Simon Bolívar, I would probably understand that but since you have Simon, then Simona is not that weird.
I was right.
The next University internship stop was municipality of Marinilla, only one hour by bus from El Retiro.
Once in Marinilla nobody asked me if I was Italian or what is Spanish version of Simona because they already had known this name.
“Are you serious? And do you know that we had a famous heroine here called Simona, do you know that?”
Well I didn’t BUT it took me only few days (to be exact two or three) to hear about heroine thousands of time all over again.
Her name was Simona Duque de Alzate, heroine of Colombian independence but it is another story to tell.