If the world flings shit at you do you change direction or face it head on because you think there may be a rainbow on the other side?
Day 3 and counting. The Polizia have 20 days to come visit me again. This means that I am held hostage for 20 days here. For someone as free-spirited as me this is pure torture. I know, I am being overly dramatic about it but I have always been a rebellious soul and this goes against every grain in my body based on principle alone. If you ever want to make me really angry just pin me down for 30 seconds. I will freak out. So yes, right now, I am freaking out.
It’s the weekend, so you can be sure the Polizia have better things to do such as watch pretty girls strutting around town in their Prada heels while chain-smoking and drinking double espresso’s. I don’t blend well with these types. Sure, I’ve got a nice pair of designer sunglasses, but I go for comfort 99% of the time which means I usually look like a bag lady who stole Paris Hilton’s sunglasses!
As someone who has worked in the tourist industry I can somewhat sympathize with the local authorities here. They have to put up with a lot of crap from rich, snobby people all the time. I know what that’s like and although there are just as many nice people as there are bad, sometimes you just lump everyone together and form an opinion. Unfortunately, this is not working in my favour at the moment.
I’m a humble girl who wants to share what I have with the rest of the world. But here in Italy there is a very clear class division between “us” and “them”. Why can’t they see that I am one of “them”? I want to be able to say “hey, I’m all alone up on this hill and would love to have some local friends come over for a chat and a coffee on the terrace with me.”
This “attitude” is nothing new to the world. It is in fact everywhere, but perhaps more obvious to me here. Once, we had three men here fixing the leaky roof. The first day at lunchtime they sat at out outdoor table and munched on their bagged lunches. The following day I wiped the table and put a nice table-cloth and some glasses with water out for them. Do you know what they did? They went out to the field to eat their lunch! They thought I put the cloth on the table for my husband and I! I had to urge them to come back to the table with waving hand motions to welcome them to eat in comfort.
My Italian language skills were very limited at that time and I kept asking them if they liked coffee. After some very strange looks it was understood that I was asking them if they would “like a coffee”. This is just one example of when you cannot literally translate a phrase by knowing only 2 words in the other language. “Piace caffe?” is like saying “Like coffee?” At least I think that’s what I was saying…my confidence in this language is still shaky and I am surprised my bilingual friends have not raked me over the coals yet for messing up my Italian references here. Perhaps they’re more forgiving than I give them credit for. : )