posted Wed, 22 Sep 2004
The Italians know shoes. And purses. And clothes. The things in the store windows are beautiful. The women dress to the nines, wearing those impossibly high heels to walk on the cobbled streets. I don’t know how they do it. I can barely make it in hiking boots.
I walked to class this morning. At no point was I more than two blocks from the ocean, but I saw it only twice. There are buildings everywhere – no open space. The houses have high stone walls around them, so you can’t see past them. The people who got here first must have grabbed all the waterfront property. The furthest you can see at almost any point is about two blocks. After that, the street will turn.
The flowers are gorgeous. Bougainvillea mixed with morning glories and plumbago tumbles from the walls. The lantana is (are?) enormous. Yes, Leigh, you were right. It can get really big. There are oleander trees – I didn’t know oleander could get that big. There are also palm trees and grape vines and lemon groves all mixed in with the buildings of the city. The Italians know how to create beauty.
Yesterday in language class, we learned how to give directions. I can say, with complete confidence, “Lei va dritto, poi prende la terza a sinistra. All’angolo tra corso Roma e via Petrarca c’ e il ristorante.”
Problem is this works only if I am three blocks away from the restaurant on the corner of Roma and Petrarca. If someone asks me for directions anywhere else, I won’t be able to help him.
We also learned some new verbs yesterday. I now know how to conjugate “litigare” – to argue, “piangare” – to weep, “pescare” – to fish, “candire” – to fall, and “andare a cavallo” – to ride a horse. Except for the fishing one, I can see how these verbs might be very useful for a legal action following a fall from a horse. But given that I go horseback riding only about once every five years and when I do, it’s at my aunt and uncle’s stables, I probably won’t be getting much use from them.
The end of the line
11 months ago