As our last day in Italy approaches (uh, today) I’d like to reflect on my time here and share some of the discoveries I’ve made in my three weeks in this lovely country. Some of these things are obvious, however, they have become even more clear in my mind as the days passed on. (Accompanying the post is some photos from our days in Sirolo–the seaside town where Nicholas’ family spend their summers)
Basta La Pasta
I’ve always known Italians love their pasta. I mean I do live right on the outskirts of one of America’s most famous “Little Italy” right? But, somewhere in between the insane amounts Tagliatelle Ragu and Gnocchi Pomodoro it hit me like an old “nonna” smacking and rolling out her fresh sheet of home made pasta–Italians eat more pasta than anyone can ever imagine. Now, if you’ve never been to Italy, let me explain to you how the eating works here. For collazione–breakfast–you usually have a (or multiple) coffee along with some sort of pastry filled with a thick, creamy…uh…cream. After a few hours of digesting your machiatto, machiattone, cappucino, and your crazily-sweet pastry, it’s time for pranzo–lunch! Oh, lucky you because guess what is on the menu? Yup, you guess it–pasta! Now, Nicholas and I usually skipped the full on Italian lunch just because our bodies cannot handle that much food in one day–if we’re going to have a huge dinner (which is bound to happen however you slice it) we just have to eat a light lunch (in our minds at least!) However, the typical Italian lunch consists of the primi–the first course which is almost always a pasta dish, secondi–the second course which is usually a piece of meat or something along those lines, and then of course the dolci–the dessert. That’s a lot. Too soon after, just when you have finished digesting your lunch, it’s time to do it all over again at dinner. Dinner–cena–works pretty much the same way lunch does except you usually have a few side dishes, and an after dinner drink as well. It almost always works this way. And while I was shouting “BASTA LA PASTA” (enough of the pasta!) at every dinner, I must say the Italians sure know how to enjoy themselves. I, too, (secretly) enjoyed every second of it. And so did my new friends–my love-handles.
Me driving in Europe would just never work. Not only do I suck at driving stick-shift, but Europeans–mainly Italians–are just crazy drivers. It’s too much for me. Not only are you working with tiny, narrow, curvy roads, but you also have semi trucks working their way down the hill in the opposite direction, coming at you at full speed ahead (not completely in their lane may I add!) Also, Nicholas wanted me to add that Italians love to tailgate. I mean, if you’re going the speed-limit, the person behind you is without-a-doubt mad at you. Once they do get the chance to pass you, they scream profanities and do this little motion with their hand that to me, looks like their doing the chicken dance. I imagine it means something else in Italian. Something a little meaner than the chicken dance. I’m sad they don’t know that it looks like their doing the chicken dance to me. In their minds, they think they’re making me furious with that little hand motion, don’t they? Little do they know it’s making me smile! Anyway, yes, Italians are aggressive drivers!
It’s buonoooo not benne!!!
I’ve tried to explain this one to Nicholas, however, I don’t think he quite gets it because he is a native Italian speaker and just doesn’t really have to deal with it. But, after taking Italian classes, I feel that my Italian is at a point where I understand almost everything but have some trouble (maybe it has to do with confidence) speaking the actual words. In other (not italian!) words, I know exactly what to say, I just have some trouble actually saying it. However, when I do finally muster up enough confidence to actually say something to someone, I’m always looked at with a funny face. The kind of face that makes me feel like the person listening to me is offended at how I said what I said–catch my drift? It makes me feel like I’ve said something the wrong way even though I know I haven’t. And, sadly, it makes me not want to say anything in Italian again. I’m sure this applies to any person hearing their native-language from a foreigner, however, don’t I get some points for trying?
Some Final Thoughts?
-Water is not free. Unless you ask for tap water which might be accompanied with a what-are-you-thinking-face.
-Italian television is just like Hispanic television (at least Miami type Hispanic television)
-Italian Zara sales are much better than American Zara’s sales. Way better.
-Campari Soda’s are the best drink eveeeeer.
-Americans (and America it self!) have a lot of learn. But so do all of us.
And, that’s it! Ciao, Italy. I love you, but I have to leave you. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m off to my favorite city in the entire world (even though I’ve never been!)–Paris! I can’t wait.