08 November, 2009

Shocks around Rome

We lived in Florence 23 years ago. Wow, that sounds like a long time, and yet it seems just yesterday we lost our beloved bird, Dave. Actually the boys called it Shittin' Dave, but I think I will call it Diarrhea Dave. In any case, we lived for more than 8 years in Italy and thought we had seen everything the country has to offer. But shock after schock has happened on this trip.

For a moment I thought I was in Germany. I stepped off the curb and every car stopped on a dime. From my recollection, the cars would swerve and miss you but never stop. Then I regally crossed the street, bowing and throwing kisses, because I couldn't believe my eyes. No longer can I say that the Italians are undisciplined.

Then number two shock. No one and I mean not a single person smokes inside bars, restaurants or any other public buildings. I was sure that would never work here. But then I thought. I bet I know why it worked. MaMa!!! When the youngsters complained, she insisted they follow the rules. Well, that's how I think it must have been. No one else has as much influence. But that is my perspective.

Shock number three: Dick was addressed with the familiar. "Voi pagare?" We found out last night why. This is the San Lorenzo area and workers live here as well as students. So with his white hair and chubby belly, they looked on him as one of theirs.

Number four: the amount of food is American style. Last night I order Pasta et ceci and the amount of soup would have served four of me. I ate about a third, because I was awaiting my scormeze, which was also twice the amount. But that was really good.

Then a couple came into the restaurant and sat down. We tried to guess where they came from. They were elderly and blond. So not Italian. They ordered salate verde so not Danish. Maybe they were French, but no the face was wrong. Dutch or German was the decision. So as they were about to leave I asked them. Sure enough, they were from Berlin. He was schauspieler (actor) and she was lehrerin(teacher) . Now they are retired. Their son makes documentaries. The actor always wanted to be an opera singer. But when he realized it, it was too late. He was 35. So old. We hit it off, so tomorrow I will telephone them (their request) and we will meet again. It isn't often that one meets a couple and seem to have a lot in common from the outset. But then who knows, maybe it was the wine talking.

My cold is almost gone and if I take care I don't get heartburn. So much fun. Dick groans daily. When I asked why, he said he has pains. Who doesn't?

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