Sunday, September 23, 2007

What days are like...

On regular weekdays we wake up early so that we can all sit and have breakfast together. The first thing I do is to open my front door and look towards Monte Rosa to see if it is hiding in the clouds or imposing its presence over us! Moca loves to get out and smell the fresh morning air, and I like hearing the roosters announcing the new day in the farm down the hill. We have a Colombian-American-Italian breakfast and we head out to the bus stop. I should pause here and explain that even the most macho Italian man will have cookies for breakfast alongside his cappuccino; Italians just don't eat much in the morning, no eggs, no pancakes, no arepas, no "calentado", just a "brioche" at the bar with a good cup of "caffe`". We eat much more than that for breakfast, as we drink our morning coffee from mugs and not tiny little cups, and we "supplement" our bread with butter, or eggs. We also have fruit, and sometimes we go overboard and drink orange juice!!!!
After such excess we meet all the other parents at the bus stop, and usually, after the kids are on their way, we all go for coffee. I am guilty of always having a cappuccino when I have already drank my "morning coffee", but who can resist? We walk into the same bar every morning, (almost every morning, since the bar is open everyday but Tuesday, all other business choose Monday to close their doors) and the lady behind the bar acknowledges us with a warm "ciao" and a question that requires no answer: "Cappucho and caffe` lungo?" That is our usual order, for me and my friend Pien, the "regulars" in the group. Pien is from Holland and speaks fluent English, other parents include an Italian married to an American woman, and the town pharmacist, an Italian man whose everyday attire is very elegant and sometimes surprisingly colorful. We love his red pants with yellow shirt combo, accessorised by a peacock green sweater; it might sound awful but trust me, he looks very sharp wearing it.
At the bar you see people coming in and out, exchanging brief conversations, and leaving as soon as they drink their coffee. Italians drink their morning coffee standing up at the bar, tables are left for us foreigners. Truth be told, some other people sit at tables, but it is not common. By lunchtime there won't be an open table to be found! Lunch is the time to sit and have a conversation. The majority of families still meet for a home cooked meal at home, and they eat to their hearts content! This is the main reason why all business must close between 12:00 noon and 3:00 o'clock. If you must eat at a restaurant, or bar, you will enjoy the fact that no one expects you to eat fast and leave. Nobody is in a hurry! Slow-food anyone?
We can't all meet for "pranzo" together, since Fernando's work is 20' away and Nicolas is at school, but we make sure that we have an Italian style dinner together. We enjoy trying new recipes, improvising others, and eating like it is a party everyday!
I am home bound for the most part, since we can not buy a car until we get the "permesso de soggiorno" and this is not happening anytime soon. We have Fernando's company car, and we share it whenever we can. Sometimes I drive Fernando to work and keep the car, other times he rides his bicycle to work! This is quite an adventure, since he has to share small roads with all those Fittipaldis out there! He is also the only one at the office to commute this way. Bravo!
From the house it is just a short walk down the hill to the center of town, I have everything I need nearby, from the bakery to the library. I used to walk to the bakery to buy our daily bread, but now I get it delivered to my door!!!! Yes! They come every morning at about 8:30 and leave a little bag of goodies at my door. This is the life!
I am still busy organizing the house, and I have started making sketches of some of my new work. I am really excited about all this time I have to make art! I will also start some Italian classes in a week. It is a new world of discovery and learning and we are doing quite all right.

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