It’s been a wild ride folks but I’m here and settled in Italy. Buckle up for some stories about my first week. Looking back at the week, it’s felt like a month already, but i think there’s just been so much information to absorb and people to meet and languages ot listen to and long days too. I think once the girls start school and there’s more of a schedule it will be nice. It’s equally nice to not have any “rest” or monotony because then there’s no chance of getting bored. Niki and I are already planning some fun weekends around Italia, stay tuned ;) As a basic rundown of the week, Manu and the girls gave me a wonderful welcome the first morning. We walked around Bordi, got to see their beach, the restaurants and cafés and drank one of the maybe 4 espresso shots I have a day now, the routine is very lax right now because the girls aren’t in school but it was a very nice introduction period maybe to learn a little before we jump into the school routine. The next day, my foot swelled up the size of a football, because i was bitten by a horsefly the day before at the pool and apparently im very allergic. I would have never guessed the pain or amount of swelling that happened. I couldn’t wear any shoes except flip flops, and even those weren’t great.
“I am learning, always, to stay calm, and take things as they come. Although I am super bummed out that this is happening to me, there is nothing that worrying will fix. It is important for me to understand that this is why I am traveling, to be pushed out of my comfort zone, to meditate and reflect on myself when I am out of my ordinary circumstances.”
Wednesday we drove to Alba, in the Piemonte region, to where the family has their second house, both sets of their parents live in this area, which meant lots of warm, incredibly prepared family meals. I didn’t think it was possible to eat so many foods I’ve always dreamt of in one day, but I’ve done it a few days in a row now. Buffalo mozzarella, homemade pasta, so much cheese, wine, gelato, espresso, more pasta, bruschetta, etc etc. Here’s the thing too that I’ve learned. Anytime you think a meal is done, its not. I promise. At lunch with Albys parents, we had bruschetta, it was all homemade with olive oil and amazing bread, I had one or two decently sized pieces thinking this was lunch. We’re all sitting around the table chatting after, and the grandma comes out with two huge things of ravioli, WHAT?! I didn't have room hardly, so i had a little, were chatting again and then she comes out with zucchini and cheese, MY LORD. So i kindly take some, and finally i think we’re done, but no. Of course I’m wrong, there’s dessert so out comes fresh figs from the garden, with espresso (of course) and other little treats for the kids.
Its so fun to watch all of the kids play, and the adults socialize, I’ve spent a lot of time this week as a silent observer. I am so so glad I have my spanish background, so when I want to i can tune in and try and understand what the conversations are so i don’t feel so very left out and isolated. It’s nice to sit and just watch sometimes too, I think this week i have been really lucky to watch a really great family love on each other, I can only dream of a day where i will have the same. Driving back from the mountains, I really could see myself living here, of course im saying that because I’m here and it’s all poetic and sweet, but I actually feel at home in this country. I think in a lot of ways these people are my people. They are crazy drivers, they speak their mind and anything is up for debate. They’re loud and vibrant, they have fun style and amazing sales. They are so tan and they don’t need a light to tell them when to cross the street. The beach is hardly ever more than an hour away, and the mountains are so luscious and magnificent. I even look like a lot of them, it’s my place.
I will type out an excerpt from the book im reading called, “La Bella Figura”, it’s about Italy and the people, it’s hilarious and i would recommend it, and its actually a big reason why I'm falling for Italy.
“People say we’re intelligent. It’s true. The problem is that we want to be intelligent all the time. That’s why in Italy rules are not obeyed as they are elsewhere. We think it’s an insult to our intelligence to comply with regulation. Obedience is boring. We want to think about it. We want to decide whether a particular law applies to a specific case. In that place, at that time. When many Italians see a stoplight, their brain perceives no prohibition instead they see a stimulus. OK then what kind of red is it? A pedestrian read? But it’s seven in the morning, there are no pedestrians about this early? That means it’s a negotiable red, it’s a “not quite red”, so we can go. Or is it a red at an intersection? What kind of an intersection? You can see what’s coming here and the road is clear so it’s not a red. It’s an “almost red” a “relative red”, what do we do? We think about it for a bit, then we go. … and another, “But tolerance is like wine: a little does you good, too much is harmful. Do you recall those cars hurtling down the fast lane? You talk to their drivers and you discover that the speed limit is 80 mph. It’s not a number, it’s an opportunity for debate. It would seem unlikely that the idiot flashing his lights at the car ahead could find any justification for his behavior, but he can. He quotes anthropology, psychology, the principles of kinetics, imagining favorable interpretations and margins of error as he places his hopes at the judges discretion and the mercy of the court. You ought to be arrested for driving like that, but he deserves a university chair for the way he argues.”
Oh, one more thing, at dinner last night, I accidentally ate a huge chunk of butter because i thought it was cheese, cheers y’all.
Thank you all for taking the time to read! Hope your weeks were fabulous, don't forget I'm just a message away!