Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Sunday/Buona Domenica
We had such a great Sunday. First I got to take a walk with Massimo which is always very good and makes me feel like everything is right with the world.  Then F made his now famous bread and his almost as famous lemon pie with homemade whipped cream and we had the fiorai/florists over.  The couple who sell flowers downstairs from us always seem so nice so we finally convinced them to come up for a visit.

They are from Viareggio not Lucca, so they understand what it is like to come from outside the walls, too. Giuliano the husband was very warm and told lots of good stories. Giuliano had a good tip for us about the car license issue. He said  that you can pay a driving school to do most of the many steps in the process, apart from the eye doctor vIsit, on your behalf.  It turns out that Anna Laura who I thought was their daughter is really one of their sons' girlfriend.  The wife who I like the best of all never told me her name so I still don't know what it is or how I am now going to get around that problem. I also don't know if now she is a tu or a still a Lei as far as addressing her in Italian goes, so I will probably mumble a lot and smile in a real goofy way.  But they stayed for two hours which was more that I had hoped for because it went so well but that meant Tatia and I had to run for our lives to meet Gabriella, the mom from the parent-teacher conferences with the mom's group and the daughter in T's year at school.

Gabriella's daughter, we came to find out, has a best friend already and so we don't know how open she will be to having a new friend.  But I loved the mom's dark sense of humor so I'll definitely see her again while her three kids are at school.

Then we ran back home to meet Silvia and Tommaso who were the parents that were the nicest to us when school first started.  I never got to hang out with Silvia because she was always at work, but now she has maternity leave. They both speak a little english and their son is in T's class.  Now he shares a desk with her because of a teacher decree that boys had to sit with girls. They have a younger son who is a great kid and now they have just adopted a little girl named Rediet from Ethiopia.  We gave them some chocolates before they left to pick her up because I couldn't think of a better stress reliever that was legal to take on the plane.  Rediet was in a pretty horrible institution where she did not have enough to eat or drink and did not get enough exercise.  She is super observant and great at mimicking.  When I fake laughed (in the annoying way parents do) to show her my amusement at something she would fake-fake laugh back at me as if to say I'm on to you, lady.  Also when we gave her a toy dog that wags it's tail when you push a button she quickly ripped off it's fake fur covering and showed me triumphantly where the battery case was in case I was under the false impression that it was a real puppy. Take that Fur Reel Pet company! You got a love a truth crusader who is a tiny six year old with tons of spirit.  On her way out at the end of the night she winked at me and chirped, Ciao Bella! Mighty impressive for someone who spoke no English or Italian a week ago, isn't it?

Before dinner we went to Piazza Napoleone where everyone except Silvia and Rediet played pallamano which is handball/ultimate/soccer. After a rousing effort, in which I ripped the lining of my leather jacket and accidentally freed myself from both bra straps simultaneously, I bowed out of the game.  Then the boys attempted to train T in pallavolo/volleyball for an upcoming school tournament, while I dragged Silvia and Rediet to the gelateria because I was under the wrong impression that Alessandrina's mother Lillia desperately needed to tell me something when in fact she just wanted me to know that she's working weekends if I ever want to stop by to say hello. Perhaps I should keep on studying Italian for those oh so important subtleties. Anyway to T's horror, I encouraged the boys to watch T's black belt test video on youtube which made up for any lack of star quality in these lame team sports. Lorenzo exclaimed several times, "Is that wood? That's wood that she's breaking! So that's wood, right?"

OH and let's not forget that for dessert they brought us a big pink box of delicious fried doughnut-y things filled with vanilla and chocolate cream that melt in your mouth and are called frittelle o frati. As if I didn't love these people enough before dessert. . . yum.

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