Over the years, I always seem to find myself torn between two worlds, two lovers or two roads. Although the journey has been an exciting one so far, there are days when I would prefer to just have fewer choices and stay in one spot.
The magazine article has been published and even while reading it, I could sense the duality of my life. I seem to always have a love/hate relationship with people, places and things. Perhaps it is because I’m objective and optimistic that I can see the good and bad in everything? I don’t know, but it leaves me feeling a bit incomplete at times.
I have lived in Genoa for going on five years now. Many people write to me asking what life is really like living in Italy and I find myself laughing hysterically (more like a maniac not because something is funny), do you really want to know? Okay, so some days I walk by the enormous fountain in the center of the city and think somebody pinch me, I feel like I’m on a movie set. Really, I do. Then there are other days, when I get off a very crowded bus cursing and swearing because it’s raining again – it rains a lot here, and I ask myself, why at 47, am I still taking public transit? Oh yeah, right, there’s no free parking in this city and yet I gag from the pollution of all the cars and scooters.
But after much contemplation, yes, I’m still upset about my snow comment, I realized what I was really trying to say in the magazine interview. In Canada, the air is just cleaner and somehow I connected that to snow…the cool, fresh air that you take in and feel your lungs expand to greet it. I also miss wide-open spaces and personal space, which just doesn’t exist in Italy. If you leave a gap between the car in front of you, a scooter will zip in there. If you leave a space between yourself and the person in the queue ahead of you, someone will butt in there as soon as you turn to look the other way.
I love many things about Italy and Genoa. Most importantly, I love my Italian husband and well the country kinda comes as part of the package…for better or worse. If I didn’t, then there’s a pretty good chance that I would have taken all the good parts of Italy back to Canada with me and chalked it all up as part of the journey.
So, while I tolerate the rude people, horrible customer service, crazy traffic, and public transit I consider myself luckier than most because I can escape up to Portofino mountain and ignore most of it. Is Genoa all that bad? Well not really, it’s a nice place to visit and I have met some wonderful people there. And ironically, even the locals say it is a cold-hearted place.
I will leave you with this…a link to the magazine article and some photos I took on my morning walk around Portofino mountain. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go searching for my missing Passport, yeah, seriously, I am leaving in 11 days and I can’t find the damn thing! Italy has me in her tight grip and is reluctant to let me go for some reason…