Archive for the ‘Americans Abroad’ Category
Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged Bangkok, expat in Italy, italian news, italian teacher, JFK, living in Italy, Orvietini, Orvieto on December 6, 2012 | 9 Comments »
This is an actual email I received this morning from a friend:
Lots of rain here.
My roof is leaking.
Just got in from my second trip to JFK in a week.
I spent a week in Bangkok last month.
Tell me all about your new life.
6 December, 2012
We had a flood here four weeks ago. Bad.
I sit in my office a lot in front of my computer.
I drink too many cappuccinos.
I ran into my ex the other day. Awkward.
Haven’t eaten any pasta yet.
Only ate one gelato.
Eva is a great Italian teacher.
Had to substitute her for the Italian news online.
I changed my cellular provider without help.
It took two attempts.
It rained yesterday.
Supermarket is closed on Wednesdays.
I ate cereal for dinner.
The Mayor says I belong in a category called “Orvietini”
I like it.
Posted in Americans Abroad, Food in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged food, Food in Italy, Il Giorno del Ringraziamento, Italians celebrate Thanksgiving, I\, Thanksgiving in Italy, traditional Thanksgiving dinner on November 23, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
In Orvieto they do.
They say LOVE is the universal language, but really it’s FOOD. Bridging the gap between languages, cultures, and traditions – food is humanity’s common denominator. “Yum” translates in every language.
Last evening, a large contingency of rowdy Americans, along with a strong delegation from the Eurozone: Italy (of course), Germany, England, Scotland and Finland, gathered to share a meal, wine and friendship.
It’s my understanding that in preparation for this turkey dinner, Carlo, the owner of Ristorante Dell’Ancora, was bombarded with weeks of strict and precise instructions on how to properly prepare a traditional “Norman Rockwell-style” Thanksgiving meal. The anxious, but well-meaning party organizer’s fears were finally quelled by Carlo’s confident annunciation, “Don’t worry, I will make a Thanksgiving dinner better than they do in the United States!”
To use a typically American expression…Carlo hit this one out of the ballpark!
Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Food in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged Food in Italy, Italian food, Lorenzo Polegri, Orvieto, The Etruscan Chef, Umbria, Umbrian Cuisine on November 17, 2012 | 4 Comments »
I’ve been in Orvieto just a little over a week. Already a lot has occurred – some good, some not so good. Such is life.
Strange things are happening…
…like writing my very first book review…
The Etruscan Chef by Lorenzo Polegri & Kim Brookmire is not just another book about food or cooking, although it tells of both.
It’s a window into the past and present lives of Umbrians and their cuisine – a memoir of food and its genesis from their ancestors, the Etruscans. Lorenzo writes, “We used to be Etruscans. I don’t know if we still are, but we love to think so.”
Chef Polegri presents us with a book that is written by a boy who is now a man. After reading it from cover to cover, I feel as though I know him, and the people he introduced me to, just a little bit better. The smiling faces of the vendors I see at the outdoor market every week now have names. Absorbing Lorenzo’s words, I will try to remember that a farmer toiled in a nearby field to bring these delicious and real foods to my table. Grandparents, parents, children and friends: Through Lorenzo’s stories from his childhood, his teenage years, and now his adulthood, I see more clearly the strong and beautiful people of my adopted home, and for this I am grateful.
The Etruscan Chef is a pleasurable and emotional glimpse into the soul of a life in Umbria, Italy.
To learn more about Chef Polegri and his work go to www.ristorantezeppelin.it or find him on Facebook
Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Living abroad, Living in Europe, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, tagged duration calculator, Italian time, orvieto italy, space time continuum, travel, When Harry Met Sally on September 2, 2012 | 13 Comments »
Everyday I obsessively enter my impending departure date into a duration calculator, but strangely the “days remaining until I arrive in Italy” number never seems to decrease. Time is not just dragging, it has come to a screeching halt and I’ve begun to wonder if my new life in Orvieto will ever begin? I fear I could be trapped in some kind of weird vortex or bizarre Italian space-time continuum!
Harry’s touching sentiment in the film, When Harry Met Sally echoes my own:
“…when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone (or, in my case, somewhere), you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Unfortunately like a pot, a watched country never boils.
There is a mind-set you adopt when you are about to move far, far away. You become a short-timer; drawing an arbitrary line in the sand – a sort of invisible cut-off date after which you won’t be forming any new relationships. Now when I meet someone I’m tempted to say, “Hi, my name is Toni and you can’t get attached to me.” I’ve put into place a “friend moratorium” because I just can’t like any more people – it hurts too much to leave them.
A perfect example is Reggie. I met her just under the wire at a Starbucks on Union Street about a month ago. She is hysterically funny, super-smart and very cool. Now I am going to miss her, damn it!
When it Rains, it Pours…
Wouldn’t you know it? The other day on the ferry a handsome man smiled at me PAST THE DEADLINE!
I was thinking…perhaps some rules are meant to be broken?
Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Italy, Orvieto, Piazza Navona, Rome, Travel, Umbria, tagged Envy, Italy, jealousy, Orvieto, Piazza Navona, Rome, travel, Travel to Italy on June 6, 2012 | 12 Comments »
“Nothing is as obnoxious as other people’s luck.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald
Envy is a malicious emotion in which a miserable and narcissistic person craves the misfortune of others and begrudges their success. From the Latin word Invidia, envy is considered so nefarious it’s ranked number six among the Seven Deadly Sins. Some days I admit it – I’m a sinner…I envy the entire population of Italy.
“Envy is for people who don’t have the self-esteem to be jealous.”― Benson Bruno
Jealousy, similar to envy, is often defined as “resentment against a rival, suspicion or fear of losing someone or something you love.” Hummm…
You know, I am not going to allow myself to linger any longer in these emotional black holes. When I find myself in this unhealthy state of mind, I’ll just remember that the merry-go-round of life spins and spins and there are more than enough brass rings to go around. I’ll wait and be patient for I am about to come around again for another grab at the prize. Negative moods are neither good for your soul nor your skin.
Envious or jealous is just no way to be.
Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, tagged Italian for Foreigners, learning Italian, Sweathogs, travel, Welcome Back Kotter on March 6, 2012 | 15 Comments »
The information I was given at the education office of the centro sociale (community center) was that the Italian class commenced at 3:25 on Thursday afternoons. The photo is of the scene on Thursday at exactly 3:24 p.m. Oops, apparently the class actually begins at 4:30 p.m. I located the teacher and she recommended I come, instead, to her class on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. Okay, I’m game. I’ll be back on Tuesday afternoon…
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
If I hadn’t experienced it myself, I don’t think I would have believed it. My friend, who attended class with me, was witness to the casino (mess) that was my first public funded italiano per stranieri (Italian for Foreigners) course.
It was a blast from the past – reminiscent of the glory days of flying spitballs, pimple-faced awkwardness and hallway passes alla “Welcome Back Kotter”, the iconic television sitcom about a street-wise teacher saddled with a class of overzealous, unruly misfits.
This afternoon’s cast of characters: a pretty blond, if not somewhat scattered teacher; a macho hooligan who passed out our text books while making wisecracks with a unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth; a skinny, greasy-haired and sullen boy who interrupted class to take a call on his cellphone; a dull-witted, sloppy adolescent surfing his Facebook page during the lesson; a painfully shy North African women who refused to speak if asked a question – she just sat there until the teacher moved on; a young Eastern European couple who sat so close together they almost became one person and, my favorite, the know-it-all teacher’s pet who corrected your answers before the instructor got a word in edgewise.
The class was disorganized, the overhead projector didn’t function and the audio CD was scratchy and unintelligible. However, I did learn some things I didn’t know before – the words l’orario fisso (fixed schedule); lo stipendio (salary), and turni (shifts). Also, silenzio! (be quiet!); No, non si può fumare qui dentro! (No, you cannot smoke in here!) and Spero che tornerai la prossima settimana (I hope you will come back next week).
I believe “sweathog” translated into Italian is sweathog.
It never ceases to amaze me how tiny the world has become. From my little apartment in San Francisco, I have an idea. I sit down at my desk and pound out my thoughts onto my computer. Because of the nature of the internet today, my viewpoints and impressions are broadcast instantaneously across an ocean where a man sitting at his computer in Italy happens to run across my article, Orvieto, Italy: A Land Where Time Stands Still. Something moves him to send me a short note – he says he likes what I wrote about his hometown.
Just a few short months later, I find myself sitting across the dinner table from a lovely couple to whom I’d been introduced that evening. Halfway through the supper conversation we discover the link: “So, you’re that Toni DeBella”, the husband declares to our astonishment. You could have knocked me over with a feather!
In these crazy moments, the once unthinkable becomes imaginable. Here we all sit together in a restaurant in Orvieto, experiencing firsthand the growing obsolescence of continents and landmasses with hard-drawn borders. Can’t you just picture it – the entire human race clustered in one big archipelago – chained loosely and floating alongside one another, just waiting to collide? And do you know the most amazing part? My story is becoming more and more common and every day. Il mondo e’ piccolo (it’s a small world), and it’s getting smaller all the time.
Read another “small world” story by Lisa Chiodo at Renovating Italy here.