Posts Tagged ‘Travel to Italy’

Toni Perm boxFrom the time I was old enough to speak, I was a reluctant crusader against the relentless ignorance over the gender-bending name my parents assigned me at birth.  1960s Madison Avenue provided only one example to refer to when enlightening people on how to accurately write the girl-version diminutive of Anthony.  “It’s spelled with an “i” instead of a “y”, you know, like Toni, The Home Permanent.” I grew weary of the discourse and confusion about my androgynous moniker and envied girls appropriately named Mary, Cindy, or Barbara.

As I reached adulthood, the naming world evolved and it appeared the heat was finally off women with “men’s names”.  Thanks to Oprah’s Book Club, Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison became a household name and songbird Toni Braxton was a sexy girl-named-Toni babe. Things were looking up in the given name department…until I moved to Italy. 

“Mi Chiamo Toni.”  Oh, hell, here we go again.

by Toni DeBella


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All packed and nowhere to go.

Hurricane Sandy, like the Icelandic Volcano several years before it, had rearranged my date of departure leaving me cooling my jets in California for another week.  You know how it is when you’re ready to go somewhere – a delay can be a huge letdown.  My friend calls it “premature elation”.  On the bright side, it was great to hang out with my Mom and Andrew a little bit longer, but after seven days on hold I decided to reroute my trip and fly to Frankfurt instead.

Am I becoming one of those people who always has a story?

On Tuesday I arrived in Frankfurt without incident, carrying everything I own crammed into two seventy-pound suitcases. I literally lumbered over to the DB Bahn desk for a train ticket to Italy. I explained to the young reservationist that I must be on the next train to Orvieto, Italy.  She said the train to Munich was leaving in exactly twelve minutes, so I slapped down my credit card and took off like a bat out of hell – I hopped onto the train with just minutes to spare!  I enjoyed the German countryside, but my train arrived in Munich late, so I had to make a run for it (with two heavy bags, “run” would be an overstatement).  The conductor announced they would be pulling away from the station in 30 seconds so I flung my bags onto the last carriage – I think I have a hernia now.  But really, the important thing is I was on my way to Orvieto at last!

I took a seat by the window and looked out at the passing cities of Nuremberg, Innsbruck, Trento…oh sh*t! I took the wrong train!  Apparently Rovereto is not the German word for “Orvieto”, but actually a town near Verona. Oh well, at least I was traveling in the right direction.

In Verona, my friendly Austrian conductor, Arnold, offered to let me tag along with the train employees to their hotel and even convinced the front desk to give me a good rate.  A pizza, a shower and a good night’s sleep was just what the doctor ordered.

In the morning I was on the train to Orvieto via Bologna.  I met a lovely veterinarian from Rome, Marco, who helped me get my bags (or as he referred to them, my armadi (wardrobes)) off of the train at Bologna Centrale and three hours later I arrived at my new home.  My friend heard my bags rolling down the marble stairs all the way from the station lobby.  She remarked how lucky I was to have avoided the excess baggage charges by the airline.  Yeah, I am lucky.

by Toni DeBella

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“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.

by Toni DeBella

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