Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spoleto Rain: Sunday, Part I

"Do not be angry with the rain;
it simply does not know how to
fall upward."
~ Vladimir Nabokov

"What time is it?" I mumbled from bed this morning, my face half-stuffed in my pillow.

"I think it's 8:00 or so," Mike called back to me from the living room. "It's raining."

He didn't have to tell me that. I heard the thunder and heavy downpour a few hours before, but how was he to know that? I hadn't heard him get up.

"It looks as though it's slowing down," he continued. We decided to go out for coffee, but we hustled back to the apartment when we were done since the drizzle continued and made it a little cooler than the last few days.

I don't like rain. (You probably guessed that last month when I whined about the rain in Paris.) Heck. One of the big reasons we moved to Las Vegas was because of its lack of the wet stuff. I can't complain too much, though, if I don't have to go out in it.

So, you might ask what does one do when it rains in a small Italian town on a Sunday when almost everything is closed? Easy! Lean out of the flat window, take photos of people walking in the rain, and share some in an additional blog post for a Sunday. I hope you don't mind

The photo above I took from the window this morning. I love how the clouds envelope La Rocca at times. When I took it, I heard the bells of two of the churches calling people to Mass.

My good friend, Sally, IM'd me yesterday and asked if I was feeling homesick yet. Some of you may remember that we spent six weeks in Europe in 2011, and I felt quite out-of-sorts during the time we spent in Vienna and Prague.

This is very different. I'm not homesick at all, although I do miss seeing my friends, talking with my kid, and chasing the little dude. In addition, I would like to have a comfortable pillow/bed, and I'd kill to have a shower larger whose square footage is a bit larger than that of my kitchen sink.

I think the extent of my comfort is directly related to a few things, not the least of which is how friendly the people are. With a few minor exceptions, everyone in France and Italy has been absolutely lovely. Smiles and laughs go a long way on both sides.

Being familiar with the languages also helps. I pick up the Romance Languages pretty easily since I speak Spanish, but I was not as quick with German. Czech? Forget it.

"You know," I mentioned to Mike when we were in Paris. "I've been listening to the sound of French a lot lately." He looked at me like I was crazy, and I don't deny that.

"What do you mean by that?" he asked me.

"Most of the time I try to understand what they're saying, but sometimes I just listen to the sound of the words, of the inflection, of their voices." He still gave me that look, but he was listening."I wonder what we sound like to them." He shrugged.

Here's what I've decided: The French sound as though they are gliding over their words. The Italians (and Spanish) bounce over theirs. American English zig-zags. British English is more curly-cues. I'll let the others go, but I think you get my drift.

The food is another reason I'm okay this trip. Except for Mike's French cannelloni and Eataly tartare, our meals have been great. Even the pizza from the little joint across from our flat has been delicious. Of course, the French and Italians don't put gravy on everything.

I miss the French bread right now. If I had to choose one meal to have in France, it would be a baguette of cereal (their word for multigrain) and goat cheese. Of course, I'd add in the French hot chocolate to drink, too. The bread of Spoleto is a heavier bread that doesn't contain salt, so it takes some getting used to, and after you've had French bread for a month, this bread pales in comparison.

If I had to choose one meal in Italy, it would be pasta, of course. My favorite, so far, homemade paccheri with pecorino romano.

Mike is in taking a nap right now. As I write this (at 3:35), the rain has stopped, and the sun is peeking through the clouds. I an actually see blue behind the mountain. I may have to wake Mike up to see if he wants to walk to the tabacchi down the street to get Coke. The groceries in Italy and France are all closed on Sundays (Remember when it was that way in the States?).

It's very quiet right now. The only sounds I hear are shuffles on the pavement below, the "bounce" of conversation as people pass our window, and the hum of the portable heater we have under the laundry we did this morning.

I'll be back tonight with the story of the Vatican crowd.

I hope you like the photos this afternoon.

I have about three photos of this man and his dog. In one, the dog is looking at him as though he were asking why he couldn't use the umbrella, too.

If you don't have an umbrella, use your jacket to protect your head.

This guy was ambidextrous.... Don't let a little rain keep you from the important business of texting.

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