I've been a bit frustrated lately. It's tough sometimes being in a country where you don't speak the language, even though you desperately want to.
Let's be honest. I am an extrovert. I crave conversation, I crave being around and communicating with other people. That's damn hard when you don't speak the same language as everyone else does. A smile only goes so far. 🙂
It's tough learning to drive in a country where the rules are all different. Where cyclists fly out NOWHERE in front of you at every turn. White knuckles, to say the least.
Its tough getting used to a "it gets done whenever it gets done" way of life when you've depended so long on efficiency.
With that being said, it all balances out.
The beautiful things about this country FAR outweigh the frustrating ones.
And the other day when I was a bit down (missing my family and friends, feeling aggravated) I had one of those perfect Italian moments.
I sat at my kitchen table, drinking coffee and listening to the church bells pealing. This was my view:
Right then and there I decided to combat the blues with a little neighborhood walk.
I loaded Cate and Lucy into the wagon and first we stopped by the little produce store on our block. I looked up how to say everything I wanted…I'm determined to try to speak Italian as much as possible.
I managed to communicate quite well and I didn't even feel embarrased or frustrated!
One thing I've noticed here is that you make an effort…if you really try to speak and learn Italian, the locals really appreciate it and respond in a really positive and helpful way.
Then we went into a shoe store and got the girls sneakers. Again, I did okay on the Italian and that made me feel even better.
Sidenote: I kept thinking "There are so many stores called Saldi here!" and then I realized Saldi means "sale". Ummm. Way to go Stephanie. Bahaha.
After some retail therapy, we went into Gelaterie Sofia and had arugula, cheese and prosciutto sandwiches. Accompanied by a nice cold Fanta, of course. The Fanta here is amazing. A bit bitter and not sugary sweet like American orange soda.
We also shared a mushroom risotto that was INCREDIBLE. You should have seen Cate and Lucy devour it. More,Mommy…MORE!
The girls were screaming FRAGOLA GEYATO! FRAGOLA GEYATO! So strawberry it was.
I loaded them in the wagon and we walked back home.
People stopped us every few steps to fawn over the twins. They love love love children here. Even a group of 20 something guys stopped and were going on and on about how cute they are. HA!
A Canadian couple stopped me to ask for directions and I actually knew the answer!
Nuns paused to talk to us, A man on a bicycle gave the girls a flower as he rode by….
and it was just PERFECT. A perfect Italian moment.
The kind of moment I'll hold on to when I'm frustrated and overwhelmed and in over my head.