Monday, March 26, 2012

A love/hate, as always

I've started looking at one-way tickets to Utah. It's made me at once excited and sad, like many changes in life seem to. So many things are entangled in love/hate relationships, no?

I've started to make mental lists about everything, gelaterias, things I'll miss, favorite streets, charming walks, scenic bike rides, quirky shops, best store-fronts, museum schedules . . . I've also started allowing myself to think about Utah summers. Mmmmm, Utah summers . . . are there any better?

Things I will miss about Italy:

In one of our favorite piazza's, Piazza Cavour (proximity to the best gelateria in town may have something to do with it).
1. Piazzas. Why doesn't America have these? Why don't we have beautiful outdoor spaces (the mall doesn't count) filled with benches where people just hang out, eat gelato, read newspapers, and chat about whatever people chat about? Some of my favorite ones are small and tucked away, but Piazza Maggiore is always filled with people, live music, tourists . . . you get a sense of community when you're there even if you're the farthest thing from somebody's neighbor. The piazza's have provided tons of entertainment for Ada. She likes making friends and trying to beg ice cream off people (don't worry, I don't let strangers feed my baby). There are always dogs roaming by or pigeons landing here and there that she chases after, pointed finger leading the way.

2. Hanging laundry on the line. As much as I complain about how time consuming laundry (and everything else) is here, I think I'll actually really miss the slower pace of everything. There's a subtle gesture that people do here that I think evokes everything slow and care-free about Italians. When I hang laundry it's like a moment of meditation. It's a practice in caring about each part. It's also beautiful when it's all out in the garden swaying.

3. Walking. I hope that I can maintain some parts of our routine here even when we live out west for a bit. I think it's therapeutic. I have loved going to the store nearly every day with Ada. It's a good chance for us to breathe in some fresh air, check out the store windows and say hello to our friends at the Coop.

4. Bikes everywhere. I love the bikes here. I love the variety, the repainted finishes, the baskets, the clinky chains and squeaky breaks. I think I'll really miss the feeling of riding on cobblestones.

5. Window shopping. Man do they store owners seem to pride themselves in their window displays. I love it. It's made me second guess my cyber shopping tendencies. . .

Things I won't miss about Italy:

1. Cigarettes. The smell is bad and it seems like Spring has made everyone double down on their packs of cigs, but the butts every where is what kills me. Also, trying to keep them out of Ada's little hands when we're in a piazza or at the park is seemingly impossible.

2. Hanging laundry on the line. And doing dishes by hand. And how the laundry detergent just isn't up to par.

3. Walking. As much as I love it, sometimes it sounds so nice to get in a car and just go.

4. Motos. While it's impressive to see extremely well-dressed Italians zip by on a Vespa, they're so loud and stinky.

5. My bathroom. It's small. And there isn't a tub (and both Ada and I really need some tub time). And it has a bidet (Ada's new favorite depository) which always has crayons or toys in it. And the towels are scratchy. (Do I sound whiny?) I'm just looking forward to my big, soft, bleach-stain-and-all bath sheet that is folded neatly in a plastic box labeled "Towels and Bath stuff."

That sad face is not because I got mad. That's a total Please-don't-make-me-stop face.
I'm working on a Bologna City guide and some Best-Of's. Hopefully I'll have something to share soon.

1 comment:

Mary Q Contrarie said...

I have a saying "everything is a shade of grey" Your list of love/hate is a great example of that. I have never been out of the US. Yet my laundry hangs on an outdoor umbrella clothesline.

I ride my bike almost everyday. I am lucky to live in Columbia MO that values pedestrian travel. We have some great trails and parks that people do hang out in plus we are lucky to have a thriving downtown with independent businesses.

Good luck finding a place in the states that meet your needs. I believe that there are some great towns and cities that have some of the charm of Europe.

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