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Full-time professional living

July 10, 2009

If I was standing near any of you employed folks out there, you would probably spit at me for saying this, but enjoying yourself can sometimes be more stressful than real work. Seriously. I woke up today, immediately had a sandwich of mozzarella, home-grown tomato and basil, then no sooner did I shower and collect my bearings, I was spirited off by my friend and Italian host, Marco Dall’olio, to his parents house (along with Jesse D), where within ten minutes we were being fed once again, by his parents, with a sumptuous feast of rich, creamy pasta carbonara (a cream and pork sauce), a second pasta dish with herbs and chunks of mozzarella and vegetables, excellent and generously flowing wine, and melon wrapped in prochiutto glowing red, white and pink.

Thinking I might be able to rest and unwind a bit after this huge undertaking of mangiare, perhaps by reading Martin Heidegger in the original German or writing the next great American expatriate novel, I soon found myself thrown right back into the hard task of easily living when Signor Dall’olio pulled out a carafe of what he called ‘vin santo,’ a after-dinner (or in this case, after-lunch) drink that tastes like a mix between port and cognac, subtle and buttery, and very good. And then, a bottle of Limoncello. A lemon liquor, tart and very alcoholic. And then, a bottle of Nocillo. A walnut liquor, sweet, syrupy, and once again, very alcoholic. Che ubriaco! I imagine you’ll be able to translate that from the context.

My conversation throughout lunch, and in all of our meals with native Italian speakers, is this wonderful newfound language of half-broken English, half-broken Italian and a considerable amount of Spanish to fill in the gaps, about which I will relate more in a future post. It always takes a bit of time to understand anything in this language, so before I knew it me and Jesse D were being driven around town by Signor Dall’olio while Marco was doing errands, getting espresso at the local coffee shop, watching Signor Dall’olio talk and laugh at length with everyone he ran into like a true Italian and treating us to massive cones stacked with delicious cremy gelato — in my case, pine nut, dark chocolate and panna cotta flavors.

And was I tired after all of this! Hard work, I tell you. I took a nap, planned for my subsequent trip to Spain on the 15th and tried to do whatever busy work could ease me out of the easy life for a bit.

Party tonight, and more food and alcohol to come. Whew. Internet in Italy is a scarce resource, so posts are somewhat sporadic here. More soon though!

  1. Theo permalink
    July 12, 2009 6:37 am

    I sat in a HiCom meeting today that lasted for 8 hours. If you were nearer to me, I would strangle you. And I say that in the most loving way possible. Keep Italy warm for me! And much love to Jesse D and Marco.
    Be well

  2. Laura G permalink
    July 16, 2009 1:04 pm

    Are all these people that you are staying with Stebbins related? (feeling coop warm fuzzy feeling) I think you might have said this, but I’m on a particularly steep decline of age-related memory loss.

  3. Tara Downing permalink
    July 20, 2009 4:38 am

    Yes. It seems it is hard work ingesting all that delicious food and spirits. However, in this case, I think travel writing, if it were your vocation, would be “work” most people would envy.

    Glad you are having a great time!


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