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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

19 This is the Life!!

     We had a lot of adventures during the last couple of days while my back was still out. We read the entire Hunger Games book that Harrison and Mallory had pressed us to take in one day. Another adventure was a trip into town since we were really out of food and Spencer and I had only 4 Euros left.

     Paolo’s store is awesome and he is a thoughtful and intelligent person to talk to as well as buy from but there isn’t a lot of food to buy when you haven’t got cash. We had been able to buy some pasta and we had already bought a big container of olive oil and other supplies but this store does not have bread, fresh meat, milk products or fish.

     Yesterday I carefully, lentamente, walked over to the store, and we tried to buy bus tickets…only to find that you can’t. You have to buy them in town. Eeek!!…I stood there with Spencer looking stupidly at the bus driver after he explained all this in clear Italian. I felt too desperate to leave the bus. He motioned us in and after about 4 miles stopped at a Bar like Francesca’s telling me in careful, lentamente Italian, “You may go buy a ticket to pay me now.”

     Spencer hopped out quickly as the entire bus waited patiently for me and my slow moving back to unwind from the bus.

    We bought our tickets and enjoyed the rest of the bumpy ride into town where we had an hour and a half to eat, get cash and buy some food…but not more then Spencer could carry alone.

     Well, we bought 6 bus tickets back and forth, and got our cash. We didn’t get fresh bread though or meat or any milk products. We bought almost 20 Euros worth of vegetables and fruits. We also got a nice 13 Euro meal of paninis, pasta, drinks and a pizza slice. Not bad at all.

      Then we had to get back to the bus stop…the one where I met the Brutto. But it wasn’t slow and leisurely with an obvious bus for our area as it had been on Saturday. Now there were a multitude of studenti from the universita`, and tons of busses that whipped in and out with extreme speed. Now I could not remember if our bus last Saturday had listed our town amongst the towns in its window. So far no bus said our name. I could not take any chances so I proceeded to ask each and every bus driver in Italian if this bus went to our new home. They all patiently told me “no.”

     After 10 minutes, I started to worry if we had missed it somehow. Spencer assured me that the bus had indeed pulled up with our town’s name in the window and that the bus was simply late. I thought well that makes sense, hadn’t I just held the bus up while I bought a ticket?

    After a flurry of large noisy buses zipped in and out of Piazza Garibaldi, a small bus pulled into our station area. Spencer started laughing, “Look mom, it’s a tiny bus!!” I was only 6 rows long.

     Sure enough, I found our quaint little cozy town's name listed in the window and knew he was right. This was our bus.

     Now a bus in Italy is a plush thing out here. Actually in Europe…they have been rather fancy…with jewel toned velvet seats and large open airy interiors. In America many buses are leftovers from a different era. They are worn and old fashioned on the inside. Well, in Wales and here…I have to say that using the word bus might give an American the wrong sense of what my experience was like. We were riding like royalty through the countryside. We made it home with cash in our pockets.

    The next day, after 4 days of treating my back like gold, I was rewarded with being able to get out of bed and move around with little pain. Now we had to get some food in the house…not just the 20 Euros of vegetables and fruits to nibble through…but I wanted real food. Here the trick is that I cannot make bread since Stefano said he wasn’t sure how reliable the oven was….the stove I could count on but the oven…he advised me against going on big bread making binges. That was a pity since I would have loved to make some foccacia bread here!!

     I had heard that the bread man came around on Thursday mornings, around 9,30 so we decided to jump on it when it came by. At 9 O’clock we were already out on the terrace waiting for the telltale honk.

    At 9,15 we did hear the honk and Spencer ran out with the vigor I could not possibly muster until next week, with this back. There was a man and a truck but it turned out to be selling frozen goods. So I spilled 30 euros on chicken spinach, white fish and lots of gelato. Usually I am not a big frozen foods person but this is the perfect place to have something around in case I can’t make it to town again.

     We were quite excited and we decided to go over to Paolo’s and get some basics. Spencer and I spent another 10 euros getting more pasta and salt and stuff we needed. On our way back we spotted another truck outside our street. We were ecstatic. He was the fish man…his truck was filled with fresh scampi, shrimp, clams, fish, salmon and calamari!! I bought a kilo of clams.

     A while later we heard another truck honk a few doors was the milk products guy!!! We were so excited…I let Spencer get a very fresh chocolate yogurt…and I bought a 2 euro tub of the freshest looking ricotta I have ever seen.

     For lunch, I heated up a bit of pasta and cooked a handful of the little vongole and we had clams with pasta for lunch and yogurt and ricotta. We also had goodies from Paolo’s store. We felt so rich and we were so happy to have been able to buy so much right here in town.

     It is amazing how much the Italian penchant for fresh supplies is fed. We are in a tiny rural town that has luxuries brought right to the door. The widows on my street have no idea how easy they have it here. They have such great foods delivered right to the door. In Tuolumne County California, we are excited when the Save Mart has a fresh fish weekend since we know the fish is even fresher then usual. The ladies on my street would laugh at how ill planned our lives are back home for eating fresh. No wonder this is the land of slow food and we are the land of fast food.


      Give me slow food anyday!! Va bone, Va bone!!

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