The move to Dello!

Trip Start Aug 28, 2009
Trip End Nov 24, 2009

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh my goodness, what a crazy couple of days!  Let's see here, so I left off with driving with the Angelli's into the hills and out of Florence, listening to Coldplay.  Pretty soon we were in a valley, seeing more and more farms.  The mountains were hazy in the distance, and the sun was setting, and it made me think of the drive to Fort Collins from Boulder.  I dozed on and off and actually woke up confused because it was so similar.  It took 3 hours to get here, and the closer we got the more it smelled like Greeley (aka-STINKY like cows/pigs).  But it was so beautiful, and the town itself is gorgeous.  We stopped at Luisa's mom's house to get the kids, and at first they were very shy towards me and didn't pay me much attention.  She had warned me they would be like that, and that it took a while for them to get used to someone new.  Anyway, after that we went to their house, and it's in a neighborhood that in America would be referred to as "cookie cutter."  Which, by the way, I hate.  But here, even though all the homes are the same, I like it.  They're brightly painted and just good homes.  It's a very new neighborhood, I think the house is only 10 years old or so, and the inside is very modern, with cool lights that I'd like to have in my own house someday.  I went up to my room, which includes a crib in case I feel like pretending I'm young again, and unpacked.  Luisa came in and saw all my clothes and told me I should send most of them home, because it's supposedly really cold here.  Since I've been here however, it has been really really hot, so I'm not sure what to do.  We had dinner, which was fantastic, some sort of stuffed pasta with fresh parmesan cheese on top, salad, a roll, meat, and then cheese for dessert.  The portion was small and I had a mini freakout, thinking I wouldn't get enough (ol' Hoover kickin in...) but after all was said and done, I was perfectly, comfortably full.  I haven't felt sick full yet, which is something that happened often in the States.  I'm excited to put on weight here, and the good kind.  We have a roll at lunch and dinner, and salad with the most amazing tomatoes ever, and then meat and cheese.  And when I say meat, I mean meat.  It's just a plate with meat on it.  But it's shaved (they have a meat slicer thing here in the house) and so good.  And the cheese.  Oh the cheese.  Definitely one of my favorite times of the day, eating cheese with my roll and wiping up the leftover olive oil on my plate.  Mmmmm.  I think I overindulged however...I had to get up at 6 because of stomach pains.  Too much good food too fast! 

The next day Luisa picked me up and drove me to Brescia to register for my Italian class.  And Brescia is so amazing!!  We just drove through, but there are incredible skyscrapers, not at all like American plain boxy ones, but crazy shaped ones that for some reason, work, even though they are randomly placed in the middle of the Italian countryside.  I can't wait to go back to take pictures.  We weren't able to register because it was a Monday and Italians like taking extra long weekends, so we came back to Dello and went to the supermarket.  Again, since it was a Monday, they were closing early, so we speed shopped.  Everyone in the store was asking about me, because for some reason I am just not blending in easily.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I kept hitting my head on the food banners hanging from the ceiling?  I'm like the town giant.  I guess the night before, as Luisa was tucking in Enrico (the older boy, and more shy of the two), he said he was already used to me.  Point Allison!  I hung out with the boys after they got out of school at 4, coloring and not speaking to each other, and then we went on a bike ride with Angelo.  There's a path around town, about 5K, and even though I am not a fan of bikes, it was so beautiful.  The sun was setting again, turning all the hay bales a golden color and I swear if there had been music playing in the background I would have felt like I was in a movie.  A couple of times we had to stop to wait for cars and then start again, and both Enrico and I had the shaky start of people who are just learning to ride bikes.  Pretty embarassing that I'm 22 and pedal like a 6 year old.  We got back and had dinner, and then Angelo's brother came over.  I think he does that most nights.  Francesco didn't have a nap at school so he was pretty cranky.  Luckily, I had an excuse to leave.  The day before, Luisa had given me a list of classes being offered, like self-defense, fencing, salsa dancing, karate, and a couple others.  I thought salsa sounded pretty fun, so she drove me over to see what it was like and decide then.  As we walked up, I realized I had made a horrible mistake.  It was super awkward, and I didn't understand a thing, and I wanted nothing more than to leave.  We stayed for a little bit and I saw that I could probably have done it, since it's just copying the teacher, but I told Luisa maybe next month after I had some Italian under my belt.  We came home and I went to my room and cried hot angry tears that shy, nervous Allison was back.  I Skyped with Ben for a long time and he calmed me down, and I fell asleep to the tick tock of the Italian cartoon character clock.

Yesterday I decided to walk into town to buy a phonecard.  I got to the store and stood in line, repeatedly checking my Italian phrasebook to make sure I was saying the right thing (that phrasebook is a lifesaver-thanks Mom!).  Luisa called to see where I was, and told me she'd be right there to help me.  But, before she could arrive, I had already bought the card, and was feeling pretty good about myself.  She asked if I was hungry and thirsty (when am I not?) so we stopped in a little cafe to get something.  I got a glass of the most amazing peach juice ever-it was eggnog quality, so thick, and my tongue had a little orgasm.  And then instead of just getting one sweet like I had ordered, she got me a little plate sampler of many.  Holy cow.  My tongue had one heck of a time.  We picked Enrico up at noon (every Tuesday and Thursday he gets out at 12) and came back for lunch with Angelo.  I love how they always make a point to have lunch together.  They both went back to work so Enrico and I watched some cartoons, I had him practice piano for a little bit, then I taught him Tic-Tac-Toe, which he is obsessed with now.  Luisa came back with Francesco and gave me money to take them to gelato then went back to work.  We all piled into the stroller...ok I didn't, but they did, and we went off, in search of Ace for Francesco, which I guess is like orange, lime and carrot?  Sounds pretty gross, but he loves the stuff.  Apparently if it's not there he throws a fit like no other.  I was praying to the gods of gelato that it was there.  Since we speak two different languages, the only thing we could all understand were car names.  They are both really into cars, so that made my life a little easier.  We got the gelato ok (thank you ice cream gods!) and made our way back.  We stopped in a park and I pushed them on the swings.  Once we got back I was exhausted, and luckily the boys don't want me to play football with them so I just watched.  Their favorite team was playing, so I thought once we turned it on they would sit there and watch, but Francesco wanted to keep playing.  He was telling me what he wanted me to do, but obviously, I don't speak Italian, so he was getting frustrated.  Angelo took over, but Franci was still frustrated because he wanted to bounce the ball off his head and didn't understand why the professionals could do it but he couldn't.  When he gets angry he screams his head off, but in a muted way, so the cords of his neck stand out, and then he melts in a heap of tears.  I felt so overwhelmed.  I felt I would never learn Italian, and even when I did, this kid would take every last bit of my energy.  But dinner saved the night, and then Luisa's parents came over and we all "talked" (Luisa and Angelo translated) about America.  I went to bed early, tired, but overall happy.

Now, it is 3:30 and the boys have swimming lessons in an hour.  This morning has been a mixture of more random events.  Luisa and I went to Brescia again to sign up for the class, but were told that I needed a visa in order to enroll.  However, in order to get a visa, I need to be in a class.  So I'm kinda in a pickle.  We walked all over town, talking to different universities, asking questions, and have discovered that if I am to be legal, I will have to go home to get my visa or a permit of stay.  But, if I get a permit of stay, I can travel outside of Italy but can't get back in.  And, here's the fun part, my flight back to the States is out of Florence.  So I'm not sure what'll happen, but so far it's a big ol mess.  After we finally got back to Dello I went with Luisa to her step fitness class and it was AWESOME.  The fitness instructor was a big gay Italian, and he was hilarious.  Even though I had no clue what he was saying, I knew when to laugh.  Also I've realized I'm pretty awkward when it comes to step fitness, so I was laughing at myself as well.  I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and couldn't help but crack up.  I was so much taller than everyone else.  It as hard though, and I got a nice workout.  Tomorrow morning I have a running date with Luisa's neighbor who I guess runs a lot.  She does 8K in 50 minutes.  I'm not sure if that's fast or not, but we'll see how I do.  Next week sometime I'm getting picked up by Luisa's cousin who is my age and studying historic preservation and she's taking me to her class in Verona, and then we are going to Brescia to see if I can get a job in a museum somewhere.  Isn't it all so random?  It's fantastic.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but this sure wasn't it.  I'm glad I didn't have any expectations, because it makes this all the more fun!
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debhawes on

We need some pictures!

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