Archive for August, 2009

Getting to Italy.  It’s a dream that I know in reality will be speckled with mishaps, miscommunications, and flat out mistakes on my part.  That’s just what happens when you’re new to a language and culture, right?  Wee blunders have already started cropping up during my short visits… 

During my first trip to Italy two years ago, Fabio invited me to join a group of his friends on the bite-sized island of Favignana near Sicily.  One day, we rented a boat to explore the island’s ridiculously cerulean waters.  After a swim, one of the boys named Andrea, ungracefully porpoised out of the water and splatted onto the side of our inflatable boat.  The girls exclaimed, “Pecorino!  Pecorino!”  For days, I wondered why they called him the name of a flavorful Italian cheese…

When I finally recounted the story to Fabio, he recommended that I ask them at our group dinner that evening.  The Italian girls could barely explain through their tears that they were not saying “Pecorino” but “Che carino!”… a sarcastic “how cute!”  Two years later, Andrea is still cursed with the accidental nick name I bestowed on him that day.  I just wished Pecorino a happy birthday on Facebook.



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Vegetable garden dreams

“We should be proactive.”  Fabio said.  “Right,” I agreed, “or we’re going to end up in Pittsburgh… or Leverkusen.” 

That was how, three months ago, my boyfriend, Fabio, and I decided to move to Italy.   It was true, Fabio recently had recruiters call with jobs in Pittsburgh and Leverkusen.  No offense to either, but they are both far from nearly everywhere we want to be and the thought of taking on yet another language (German) to live in Leverkusen gave me the willies.

As you may have guessed from his name, Fabio is Italian.  100 percent.  I am American with a heritage consisting of 60% Midwest, 35% Northeast, and 5% Detroit. 

We’ve been living on the Upper West Side of New York City for almost a year in a one-bedroom apartment with views of a back alley, a small tree and a little bit of sky out of one of the windows.  Every day we imagine living in our own house with a view of lots of green things and our own asparagus garden.  Okay…I’ll admit… the asparagus part is my own personal little veggie fantasy, but the rest of the dream we share. 

This little house patiently sits and waits for us on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy near the Swiss border.  Fabio already owns this renovated guesthouse which we visit several times a year.  The time we spend there comes with the homeowner’s to-do list: trim the unruly bamboo and mint, air out his grandmother’s hand-me-down furniture, chop branches knocked down in the latest rainstorm into fire wood.  But uber-happily, we also manage to sip wine on the patio in the evening, watch the twinkling lights on the lake, roast savory italian sausages on the outdoor grill, and pick bright orange persimmons from the garden trees.  It is killing me to even talk about it.

What’s a goal if it’s not accompanied by an unrealistic deadline?  We set a target date of the end of the year.  Of course we could just sell our stuff and hop on a plane, but the trick is that we want to be able to afford electricity and pasta when we get there, so at least one of us needs a job first before we’ll go.

Today Fabio has an interview in London.  England is definitely not commuting distance from the house in Italy, but it gets us over the Atlantic!  I think I’ll daydream over some store-bought asparagus tonight…


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