Not much time to blog here, what with Victor home sick today, and likely tomorrow too (diagnosis: pale child in Italian climate), our regular babysitter headed out of country on Wednesday so this week is catch-as-catch-can with two full-time jobs and our lovely backup babysitters, an impromptu apero out with Maria, our friend from the palazzo family…
I just really felt like I should mark this day. Today, a year since we flew back to Washington state after our month in Firenze, ironing out as many wrinkles as possible. How far we’ve come! How we are here now, in an apartment, with two small children and two parents and two careers, and a huge babysitting line-item to make this all work. How we have made our network so that we can actually bump into a mutual Italian friend after work in our foyer and invite her out to a apero with us – and she comes!
|Mercato dei pulci + skyline da serata
June 26, 2016: flying back to Spokane and thinking, wow, okay, so it is done. We are flying back to our new home, and Sharp, you’d better call it home. Because that’s what it is , and you will make it so, and yes it’s lovely, but most people who think of Firenze think of a five-day soggiorno at the most. You are going to have to work to make it home.
We gave up a lot, but we got so much also in the equation, and that doesn’t happen every day. Even more rarely at this stage in life. This, some days, feels like a risk resurrected from the graveyard of 22-year-old ideas, And it has worked, against many odds. A lot of luck. A lot of hard work. A fair amount of frustration. And liberal daily doses of straight-on beauty.
I don’t have pearls of wisdom here, just a short list of things I find amusing in Firenze:
Carrefour: try to not shop here if you can. Because, if you think about it, isn’t IperCoop so much better? Better quality. Higher value for money. And you know why? Italian business. Doing things the Italian way. Just look. Better. So much better.
Mosquitos: Don’t even mention them. Everyone deals with them. Best not mentioned in polite company, like all facts of life.
Politics: Always appropriate to invoke. Italians very emapthetic on this point. Especially lately.
The Florentine accent: It’s strong. Who knows what they’re on about. It actually sounds a bit gallego, what it all the dry gargling lost deep in the gola.
Apero: Best consumed in a repurposed 17th-c. prigione.
|Le Murate, just add americani and spritz.
Groceries: Back to groceries. If you have very generous friends, you will come home from a day in the country with canned tomatoes of varying sorts, fresh produce (cucumbers), homemade wine, with explicit verbal instructions and commentary on each. I still cannot believe this. This would never happen in the US. Right? I mean, this is terreno kilometro zero.
|Come with me, down vigneto way: Paterno.
Later topics: i ‘fochi’ di San Giovanni, a day in Paterno, Tourists versus Heat.
Side note: If I ever own a sports franchise, it will be named The Tourists. Because, how funny. The Tourists Versus Away.