Saturday, June 30, 2012

I won't talk about the heat.

I won't talk about the heat. I think it's sufficient to say that I am learning to live like a desert nomad, sans camel. It gets easier every day. Really. Ok, the "really" was mostly to convince myself, not you. And it's not working.

There were many moments in Thursday that I considered writing about. I want to keep things short and sweet for you. If I'm to do that I'll have to do it in Italian because I only have like 20 words to use. I have the entire dictionary in English and I like to use as many words as possible. But I'll do my best. I was going to try to pick one moment, but I felt that really limited me so I'm going to touch on a few.

Thursday started early when I got a SMS at 6:15. That's right, in the morning. One of the girls I watch was sick overnight and they want to keep her home but am I available? These people actually have no other option. Their little girl is sweet once you get to know her, but most sitters don't make it past the getting to know her stage.

I said "Sure" but wasn't excited about it till I got there and there's AC in her room! Since I've been basically melting for a week it was pleasant to be with her. The air was cool and she wasn't actually sick anymore and we had tons of fun playing and blowing bubbles together. She has started to talk in complete sentences so I'm learning a lot from her. I've no choice...she speaks Italian to me unless I ask specifically for English. Then she only gives me the word I don't know and switches back to Italian. And she says everything ten times or more so I hear it over...and over...and over.

My favorite part of the day was on the ride home from babysitting. Tourists (and locals but tourists are worse) tend to walk, stand and talk in the bike lane which makes it very difficult to get around. There are curbs on either side of the lanes, it's not like I can just jump off and jump back on the lane. So there was one man who actually looked at me, then looked at the bike coming in the other direction and didn't move. I will blame my behavior on the heat. I rode by him ringing my bell over and over and over again. He just looked at me all disgusted like and my dream is that he spends a lot of time telling people all about the local woman who pissed him off by being so stuck up about the bike lane. Because that would make me a local. Awesome.

That afternoon (which is 5pm here, go figure) we went to the opening of an art show. We got all dressed up pedaled our way across town. Yes, it seems that everything except soccer is across town from us. The father of the man I dog sit for was an artist, well respected locally and even has one piece in the collections at the Uffizi, and it was his work featured in the show. The show is in one of the large museums in town and it's quite an honor to have his father's work hanging there. It felt good to be there for Stefano, he and his wife have done so much for me.

After the opening we stopped by a restaurant that Leif uses a lot for his groups. He recently sent twenty-eight Swedes to the restaurant (yes, all at one time) and the owner wanted to thank Leif. After telling us that the Swedes ate and drank everything in the place the night they came (and looking very happy about it) he asked what we'd like to eat. We asked him to choose for us and he sent us the most lovely dinner ever. Melon with prosciutto, Bistecca Fiorentino which is a Tuscan specialty, cheesecake and a lovely rose wine. It was a very lovely meal. He chose perfectly and I know that it was important for him to make those choices for us.

For a while we wondered why the restaurant was so quiet...we were only a little early for dinner and expected the room to fill up as we ate. But the only people who came were tourists, all English speakers. Then Leif remembered that the European Championships were that evening and Italy was playing Germany and every Italian was glued to a television somewhere. In the front room of the restaurant, in fact. So when we finished we walked to the front and watched with the rest of the staff and drank toasts to the victory they knew would come. Which it did, so everyone was happy.

That was my Thursday, in a nutshell. Today we travel to Lucca to see a friend from the States. I'm very hopeful that the train will have air and that no Italian will feel that it's too cold and open a window.

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