Sunday, April 17, 2011

Making friends and going places
After 10 months here, we have made acquaintances of at least sixty people and real deal friendships with at least a dozen people here in Lucca. That is kind of staggering come to think of it.

Last night our friends Tiziana and Cristiano made us the loveliest dinner at their place and they went to so much trouble. They even bought T a chocolate egg.  They made many vegetarian courses just for us and they opened prosecco and wine and stayed up late to cook everything in advance for a Saturday night meal because it would be hard for us to get out on a school night. They are the sweetest people ever.

Today is Palm Sunday and now that my cough is all better, T wanted to go to the beach. Unfortunately, all of the good beaches are driving distance away and we were not prepared.  Instead,  F proposed a walk to check out a riverfront that he had seen with ducks.  T represented her peer group by complaining the whole time because it was too hot and too dusty and the ground wasn't flat enough to play volley ball and she didn't even understand why we had gone there. F finally said fine let's just go in the water. Somewhat shocked, she rolled up her jeans took off her shoes, and she and F went to splash around. The funniest part was when he made like a bench for her to sit on to put her shoes back on.

As we were heading back we saw a cute family with garden chairs in a more picturesque part of the river where there was a pebble beach and a waterfall.  I walked over and said hi and the woman whose named turned out to be Alma asked if I was talking to her because I knew her. Total panic. Ummm no. I'm talking to you because I'm from Brooklyn. So I said "No, but I think our daughters look the same age and maybe they go to school together." (A hope-filled yet awkward pause ensued in which she sized me up.) Then she invited me to sit down and chat. She had super model eyes that just slayed me. Even after I figured out that the girls don't go to school together, I pretended that they did. Soon the girls were splashing, skipping rocks, playing cards and exchanging cell phone numbers.

Alma is from Albania and has four kids.  She helps our her husband at an auto parts place in the mornings and so he maybe wants to sell us a used car. He was quite a character, Alma's husband. He plays in a over forty basket ball game every Sunday morning and was still wearing his red, white and green team uniform.  He then introduced us to his best friend who knows Lucca as only a busdriver can, and almost broke my hand (literally) with his special death grip handshake.  Hubby gave us a long speech about how life flies by and how he saw a news program on John Lennon whose song Imagine he has adopted the lyrics from as the basis for his life philosophy. Unless of course he was talking about Vladmir Ilyich Lenin in which case I have some more studying to do. Anyhoo.

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