Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's a luxury to be understood

Where in the world have you been?!  Don't you care about us anymore!?

Of course I do and even if I wish I spent this last (gulp) month in the room above, I was in reality just busy with work studying and daily life.  I also recieved about 400 bills in five days, so it was touch and go for a bit.  Enough about me...How are you!!?

Wouldn't you love to lock yourself in the room above for a month with a steady supply of tea and see what happens?  I'm sure you'd discover some spectacular things.

This past month I haven't read so much as I've been tryingto finish my first Italian book cover to cover.  When I finished it on the train yesterday I was ready I was ready for a marching band to go off, but alas! no such thing happened.  I also discovered Gianricco Carofiglio isn't my favorite writter (of the "gialli" or mystery varietal) and found myself learning how to say things like 'ooze' 'stab' 'gash' etc etc, but it feels like an accomplishment nonetheless.

My parents, sister, brother, aunt and uncle are all coming next week and I'm so excited I can't even breath.  We're going to Tuscany and as I haven't really explored the country I've been living in for six months now, I'm even more thrilled!

Have you ever read a book in another language?  Could you understand all of it?  Was there a technique you used whilst reading it?  I'm so curious!!

Monday, March 5, 2012


When I have to test my students and I can see they are so nervous they look like they're about to pass out, I like to ask where their favorite place is in Italy, and to describe it to me.  Answers of course vary greatly, but many say Naples.  Yet Naples is like Venice, some people love it and some absolutely hate it, and if I'm testing two at once, it's happened where a great debate over it's pros and cons transpires.

In my opinion it seems like a fascinating place, I've heard you can walk down one street and feel like you're in the Middle East and the next a boulevard of Paris.  The Neapolitans are definitely the friendliest, funniest (they never want to speak English during lessons) and all miss their home city terribly.

I found this clip, from the documentary O'Mast about tailors of Naples by Gianluca Migliarotti, a few weeks back at the lovely Fox and Flyte blog and it has me yearning for a trip down the coast.  And not to sound too Milanese, but I really can barely understand what they are saying.  Let's go this summer, shall we?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Be the ocean, where I unravel

I'm sure all ten of you loyal readers are wondering where I've been, and I can tell you it's pained me to be separated from you!  My neighbor who's wi-fi I've been using for the last five months seemed to have discovered my clandestine activity and restricted his 'donation' of service so I had to go and get my own internet set-up...and since this is Italy, a month has gone by!  Quelle nightmare!

I believe where I left you I was freezing to death, wondering where the next meal would come from and dying of TB?  Thankfully all is better now, and I've just returned from a lovely trip to visit friends in Belgium.  I've read a few books, two of which are totally out of my normal reading radar but wonderful nonetheless.  Things Fall Apart is the Nigerian masterpiece by Chinua Achebe, a portrayal of tribal life at the time when the missionary's first arrived in Africa.  A tragic pageturner.  I found A Thousand Splendid Suns in my school library and picked it up rather half-heartedly...The next thing I new I was missing trainstops left and right, not answering my phone, and coming this close to calling out of work!  Gorgeous!  And I had a good cry on the plane to Brussels, not even caring that the man next to me was incredibly uncomfortable!

I must say I love Belgium!  After six months in noisy, chaotic and confusing Italy, it was a pleasant change to visit tranquil, well-designed and clean Belgium.  Everyone's house looks like it belongs in a design magazine and the food is amazing. There is also a strong vibe of melancholia with its grey sky and Gothic architecture which was just what I needed.  Being there you can really see why Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons and Axel Vervoordt are such creative geniuses.

We also went to the sea, something I haven't seen in five months.  As someone who, grew up seeing it about five or six times a day, it has been torture to be separated.  When we reunited my chest was pounding, my heart was soaring, tears were streaming (maybe from the wind)...I was all verklempt!

Maybe the Romantic surrounds overtook us, but my friend Lydia took a series of photos in a 10th Century Cathedral that came out down-right spectral...below a sample: