Thursday, December 08, 2011

Forget you: a memorable day

Making conversation with our friends the florists, I had asked about Christmas trees, and Giuliano offered to bring me one. He said anything taller than me would be 25 euros. Even though they sell cheaper ones at the supermarket, I thought that a real traditional Lucchese tree that would be brought straight from the vivaio to our door would be better than F having to schlep it on his back or bike. Little did I know that these traditional guys that Giuliano deemed "classico" are worse than porcupine needles when you try to hang ornaments on them. I find it hard to believe that your average family in Lucca were cursing and sticking their fingers in their mouths during their darling, decorating festivities, but there you have it. Apparently everybody in Lucca decorates their tree on the eighth of December for the festa della immacolata concezione. I got the wrong memo on this because I thought it had to be done before the holiday and rushed to do it early. It probably got confused with the memo about the campestre at school that said T had to bring a change of clothes and a towel to school in order to be allowed to participate in a race that only occurs during rainy season which I also did not get, necessitating F to have to run to school with a bag filled with leggings and shirt choices.

Yup those needles are pointy!

T, holding the Girl Black Belt ornament and imitating the pose.

Yesterday I taught a late afternoon class and while I was warming up I hyper-extended my knee. It's fine now. I didn't really have time to go home so I went to the next gym and had to stay moving for an hour and a half so I wouldn't cool down too much and my knee wouldn't swell. After walking in the pitch black night and freezing drizzle to the next gym, avoiding both dogs and lizards, an oncoming train, and several razzle-dazzle motorcycle racers, I was surprised to see my direct supervisor who had asked me to substitute for him that night. It turned out that he was teaching the hour before he wanted me to take over.

He invited me in during the last fifteen minutes of his class to do abs. It was with a degree of horror that I realized that, despite the fact that I had positioned myself at the front of the room facing the mirror in the teacher spot, he didn't want me to teach anything. I still don't know why he wanted me to do his manly man back breaking abs segment as a student. Maybe it was so that I would bond with the students? But then why did he not announce my class afterwards or ask anyone to stick around for the second hour? We have to teach as a team on Monday night and maybe he just wanted to show me how he likes things done. . . hmmn.

BTW, at the gym they were showing MTV's 16 & Pregnant on the television and my boss asked me if I was familiar with the program. I paused for a minute, embarrassed by my homeland's cultural offerings and then said: It's like birth control for teenagers or, you know, that holiday, the immaculate something something.

About six ladies stuck around, but one of them is the financial sector woman who smokes continuously and she crashed in a pile of ash after the first ten minutes. She literally looked gray but she didn't take my advice to go to the reception desk to be monitored so I just did what I could do and made up cardio moves li per li/ then and there. The women never smiled but they did sweat. I have no idea what they are going to tell my supervisor about it. At the end, I gave the gray lady a neck massage.

After class I went to change into something a bit less sweaty so that we could go to dinner at our friends Giovanna and Arturo's house. My colleague Laura forgot she was going to give me a lift to the city and left without me but then called to say she was looping back around to come pick me up. Don't say it, I know what you're thinking: I make a real impact on folks.

Moving on: for those of you who remember Giovanna and Arturo were T's friend Greta's family's neighbors/translators/saviors while they lived here, providing all kinds of essential services from homework help to language translation and rather decadent food catering. We had a lovely, lovely dinner that was very much the cheese lover's delight, and it made me happy that my appetizer had been three hours of non stop exercise.

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