This is really not meant to be a food blog since well….there are a few of those out there. But it’s difficult to write about my experience in Italy without mentioning food.
Last night at a dinner party for a friend’s birthday I learned a few interesting Tuscan food tales. The first is that one should never leave a loaf of bread upside down after you’ve cut a piece from it. This is not good. Just don’t do it….out of respect for the bread. The second is that one should never pour a glass of wine for yourself or someone else from the side. This is bad luck and it has something to do with Jesus and the last supper. Someone got killed after such a move. There are thousands of little do’s and don’ts like this, city to city, region to region.
DO eat the pecorino cheese though…with walnuts and honey, whenever possible.
And do have some of this too.
The days of late have moved up and down from highs to lows and a few notches in between. There have been job offers that haven’t come through, promised phone calls that never happened, a few nights sleep of exceptional sleep, a quick trip to the gynocologist, job prospects that entice me, random encounters with interesting people, and more predictable encounters with those that are growing on me. I do believe that I have finally had the chance to catch up with myself and come to terms with what I’ve done here. What better a place to let it all come to the surface than at an Irish pub with a friend. We all need these moments and I am thankful for the friend, the neighborhood pub and all the experiences that got me there sitting on a bar stool wiping away the tears. The healthy pour of prosecco helped too.
Just returned from yoga I am on the more even side of that night. I have an actual job offer and an actual meeting with a one Gianluca next week to discuss the details. This feels good. The rest is beginning to crystalize in my mind and I am slowly formulating a plan to be able to spend the time I want in Puglia. I am marking dates on my calendar for the end of April and while that seems like just the beginning of spring it is actually three months from now…..a longer period of time than I have actually been here already. It leaves a lot of space for things to happen…..to unfold…. and feel like I have a place in this life here.
Life in Italy could be changing my concept of what kind of lifestyle is livable, acceptable. Nobody has money here but still the days roll on contently. A beat up motorino for long distance winter transport, no problem. A full-time job making photocopies, bring it. Dinner out at a cheap hole in the wall, yes please. An apartment that’s not always warm, getting used to it. And yeah sure, smoke inside if you want….just open the window.
January 11 and the Italian holidays are finally over. With la Bufana on the 6th of January and the majority of people taking the long weekend, the party rolls right on through from the 23rd of December to the 10th of January. That’s 18 days of non-stop celebrating…….eating, drinking, staying out late. And during that time my flatmate has had three guests, Americans here on vacation….. and to party. I’ve been roped into several celebrations including a few late nights (early mornings) of Italian discotech dancing…..which is really not that cool.
|New Year’s Eve
Surprisingly the Italians don’t seem exhausted. I am. BUT working on my third day of catching up while the sun shines in Tuscany. I was able to get out into the country for a day to meander through a few villages, enjoy a long lunch and taste some wine at a vineyard. All on a unusually warm afternoon.
Goals for January….get back in shape and get a job. The in shape thing I can do…..with a little dicipline I should be fine. The job thing is more challenging. It’s clear that I need to make my own work. But in order to do that I need to commit to being somewhere. The sea feel too far away right now. This city has a way of closing you in. Physically and mentally. Not a bad thing if it’s where you want to be but I haven’t made that commitment yet.