Saturday, May 07, 2011

A little dello Sciopero and a lot of Shade 
It was like a Coca cola or a Pepsi commercial in the parking lot in front of Carducci middle school in Lucca on Friday morning when an impromptu flash mob of Italian (and several expat) youngsters got to dancing upon hearing the news that school would indeed be closed due to a General Strike.  Unfortunately we were without camera at that spontaneous moment, but we did get this joyous panorama for you:

Use your arrow keys to view the panorama

T who has studied the same 30 pages or so of art history for the past four weeks in a row due to the ominous threat by her art professor of an upcoming interrogation was particularly joyous.  She was locking up her bike under the archway across the street while simultaneously reading her friend Aurora aka Lola's lips as she mouthed: Non c'e scuola oggi!
T ditched her pink and blue houndstooth backpack into her dad's bike basket, and took off with Greta for greener pastures known as Greta's house. Once there T served as a trusty interpreter as none of those brave souls speak much Italian.  She helped them figure out which brand of Italian ingredients they would need to make a cake for a dinner with their landlord and translated for a friendly neighbor who has been meaning to ask them several important things for months, but to no avail since he only knows ten words of English. Go T! Then they had a giant water balloon fight on Greta's terrace and T had to borrow one of Greta's t-shirts while hers dried out.  T came back in time to get the monster share of her compito/homework done with newly eighteen Lucia, tutor extraordinaire, and then had a quick pallovolo/volleyball practice at the end.

While T was having the time of her life, I was facing the secretary with the abrupt phone manner at the dermatologist's office in Altopascio.  I had pictured this woman who called herself (bat eyelashes, exhale smoke) Francesca to look something like a cross between Gina Lollobrigida and Ann-Margaret when she guest starred on the Flintstones that one time. Luckily she turned out to be just a kindly older lady who, although less than impressed by my phone stuttering of Italian, was star struck by our New York-ness and even ran to our car with a receipt that I had inadvertently left on her desk. Thank goodness for Dr. Pagni who is the kindest dermatologist in this corner of the world and who used IPL to remove some annoying sun spots/melasma from my face that has given me an unfortunate sprinkling of freckles under my eyes and a shadowy mustache that really irks me. A quanto pare, this treatment brings all of the melanin to the surface and will disappear in one week's time. Fingers crossed. In the meantime I am hopping from shadow to shadow and thinking about fun things like sewing chin straps on my UV beach hat and where to get even larger UV400 sunglasses. I immediately ordered Colorescience Sunforgettable spf power from which I am convinced after reading six hours worth of skin obsessed blogs will keep the darkness at bay. My sequel to Under the Tuscan Sun will involve a Bat cave, sun umbrellas, and pallid Casper the friendly ghost limbs.  Moving on . . .

Footnote: T got another 9 on her Spanish interrogation! I rock at i ricevimenti/ parent-teacher conferences!

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