Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's been a long, long strada
After nine long months I (F) have passed my exam for the Patente di Guida!!! Being Italy, the final step took all day, and, technically speaking, is not quite finished.

After scoring the English driver's manual from our friend Mirko--which finally got me through the theory test--I followed him to Autoscuola Rossini. My fellow test takers were really nervous. Between exhales of thick cigarette smoke, they were chattering away in Lucchese in that way that I find almost indecipherable. Finally Giuseppe from the school arrived in the driving school car and made several announcements to our group that made everyone smile and nod, so I smiled and nodded. I did gather that we had lucked out to some degree as our esaminatore was brava and therefore not the examiner who allegedly who takes you around blind corners where you are bound to forget to turn your head to look and instantly fail, nor the one who fails you if you don't adjust all three mirrors before starting off.

So then three of us pile in the Panda for a little last minute "polishing" which  means practicing how to successfully yield at roundabouts, signaling when you enter and leave--which no actual Italian ever does. Then back to the school to swap out for the next three students.

Finally after two hours of waiting, the esaminatore arrived. She started out by testing a guy on a motorcycle, first with cones in the parking lot and then wired to a walkie-talkie out in the world. He passes. Everyone's happy. The first actual driver goes and gets in the test car and starts visibly sweating. After she drives off, two of my fellow students finally start talking to me and they quiz me fairly relentlessly about life in New York and reel off a whole load of frustrations that they are having in finding jobs, particularly jobs that would pay enough to make it worthwhile to move out of their parents' houses. We have a great conversation that goes on, and on, and on, because the first lady never comes back. After forty minutes, she finally drives up in front and looks as though she has run a marathon. She's pale and panting and sweating, but signs something before she gets out of the car. She's passed too! But she has to sit awhile in the Autoscuola to gather herself because she apparently didn't manage to parallel park successfully in twenty or so attempts. When she leaves, her fellow students share, sotto voce, that she really is a disastrously bad driver.

The next two exams go much more quickly and both kids pass and then I take my place and after all the anxiety and the work and the worry, the esaminatore says well I guess you've been driving for some time now so this will really just be proforma. Four minutes, three roundabouts later, we're back at the Autoscuola and I'm ready to sign my brand new patente, but no... It turns out that the pictures I gave them NINE MONTHS AGO are too big and when they tried to print the license it was just eyebrows to lips, but if I bring them a new smaller photo they will make it for me tomorrow. So I bike home, print new photos, bike back to the school in time to hand off the photos directly to the examiner. So, theoretically, I will actually have a patente. . . domani...
The Minestrone Belt or Why I'm Not Funny in Italian

I have a couple of standard jokes I used in my exercise classes in Brooklyn. None of them are funny here. Let me give you some examples:

1. I usually say when we are doing a difficult exercise that involves punching or kicking, "Go ahead - Imagine my face. I can take it. I've had years of therapy. I can deal with your anger. It's fine." Here what happens are usually looks of either fear and/or pity. And then I catch the inquisitive private glances among the students that say, "Why do you think she needed therapy? Might she be dangerous?"

2. When we are doing an exercise that you can't help but think looks like we are simulating some kind of sexual act such as hip thrusting, I usually say, "C'mon do it like you did it last night." I used to get tons of laughs in Brooklyn with that one. Here there is just total silence and some blank looks. It is possible that I'm saying it wrong. Or even worse when no one laughs, I feel compelled to go on to say, "Yeah, this is what I was doing last night." And they usually look alternately confused an appalled.

3. I used to end a good class or follow up one of my killer jokes with the old Borscht Belt one liner, "Come on back. I'm here all week." But here of course they just ask me if I am suddenly going to show up for more than two evenings of lessons. Sigh.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Limping down the Red Carpet
Today I found out a secret I really didn't want to know. How many moment/ibuprophen pills does it take to get K to be able to jump with screamingly sore calf muscles? It is not as fascinating as the question of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll lollipop, but the answer is the same. And thank heavens I was able to jump after Saturday's relay race on the stone streets of Lucca because while my students at LIFE just scratched their heads and wondered why their so called "butterfly/farfalla" had turned into an "elephant/elefante;" the crowd at Olympia is a lot more demanding. I was also pleased that their short circuit camera was on the fritz tonight. But I did take the daring move of opening the blinds in the sala Apollo so that interested prospective clients and various muscle heads with nothing better to do could look in at us.

I confessed to Elena, my boss at Olympia, that my dream in life was to have 50 students and take the sala Zeus which is the biggest classroom in the joint. She said she would love for me to realize that dream, but I think she understood me as saying that I could personally bring in 50 clients myself. Ooops. I hope the Lucca What meet up crowd feels like coming out to support a fellow expat on Sunday March 18 because the lesson will be gratis/free that day. I also signed my official contract with them which was a good feeling.

F met with several of T's teachers this morning at the ricevimenti/ parent-teacher conferences. The teachers gave mostly glowing reviews so the biggest problem F had was actually getting into the room. Despite the fact that everyone signs up on numbered slots in the sign up book located in the school lobby, people cut in line as though they are New Yorkers at the Zigfield or Zabars or some place like that. Sometimes they have heated and seemingly democratic mini conferences like "well, we three are all in a rush today so let's cut the tall American dude, I'll go first and then you and you." F is so chivalrous that he usually lets people cut him, but the third conference in he made sure everyone knew he was primo/first. 

Tonight was our time delayed Oscar night. You all in America have no idea how we had to seclude ourselves for 24 hours due to the time delay so that we could fill out our ballots and not know the answers ahead of time. F won. He always wins. Natasha came over for an Indian meal of curried veggies and leftover pastries from last night. The girls dressed the part of divas and we had fun tearing apart the fashions on the red carpet. We could find any real streaming of the event so we just checked out youtube and will probably watch the Fashion Police reviews on sidereel when it comes out tomorrow.

 Arrivederci, Brooklyn!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday pastries and parties and pandemonium
F and I spent Sunday morning lazing about trying to resuscitate our calves from our mini marathon between the gyms yesterday and watching Top Chef. I read 82 pages in my Italian verb book and caught up on Downton Abbey. Then I started reading The Help in Italian because of peer pressure. I'll explain later. T managed to not load her cell phone with credit properly and also to forget her keys to the house, but aside from that she was the perfect sleepover guest at Marisol's birthday party. She proudly related to us that she not only was super polite to Marisol's parents, but she won points for eating three of the homemade pizza pies that were (gasp) destined to go uneaten all by herself thus saving face for the entire group. That's my girl! (Or actually F's!) She also got double the amount of sleep the other girls did. That is what I heard from her this morning. This evening it turned out that double what the other girls got means that she slept for a whole four hours. Ouch.

We had to leave our key to the house under a rock so that T could get in because we were invited to our friend Luca (the most famous baker in Lucca) and his stunning wife Monica's house for a pastry-palooza intimate gathering and thought that it would be best for everyone if T had time to chillax in her own room with her facebook and her, also known as her substitute parents. Just Kidding.  The fact is that we were honored to be invited. The weather was spring-like so we walked there, but happily accepted a ride home in Luca's car because it seemed three and a half hours had passed without our knowing it and it was already pitch black outside. This meant two things.  One --the sky was awash with stars and two -- T had eaten every last potato chip in the house before we got home to make her dinner.

I just loved everyone I met at Luca and Monica's but they have the kind of good energy that draws good energy to them so it was no surprise at all that we felt at home. I felt like I had known the people all my life and F felt like those pastries were practically family. Just so you understand what you are seeing in the photos there were yogurt muffins, cantucci cookies with almonds, chocolate con peperoncino cake, apple spice cake and homemake crackers with cheese. F also enjoyed that Luca's sons practiced their English on him and asked him all kinds of questions about America as if he were some American sports star or something.

Arrivederci, Brooklyn!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Hate Cars or Why I have to learn to Fly or a bel panino di Nutella

So the good news is that Rocco from Olympia Club called me to give me a second lesson time. I had asked him if it could be on Wednesday or Friday after 5,45. It has to be after 5,45 because my class at Happy gym on the other side of town ends at 5,00. He cheerfully told me I could have Fridays at 5,30 and waved away all of my petty objections saying that I had to be reasonable because they need time to set up for the spin class that follows me. I surrendered. And then the cold cruel reality of the situation hit me.

I hate cars. I was in several accidents as a kid and I did not take well to driving lessons. It seems ridiculous to me that a person my size can move around in a big block of metal. I can't stand the thought of hurting or killing someone and I almost got into an accident during my driver's test when I was in my twenties. I would panic and forget which was the brake. Yeah, you don't want me on the road. I tried a second time in my thirties, not realizing that in Brooklyn we have a quaint tradition of honking and yelling obscenities at cars that say STUDENT DRIVER on them. Fuggedaboutit.

At least the scenery is nice.

Sadly, I also hate bicycles. I know, I know. But I was the one kid in all of America who never got the hang of it. And even when I tried those stationary ones at the gym they always feel like a kind of S&M torture on my private parts, not to mention my back and my knees. Plus to get to the gym I would have to be in the road with cars. So it is out of the question. Plus I also hate keys and locks and then you have to lock up the bicycle. It is just a nightmare.
I'm totally weird, but at least I live on my own terms.

Last night I had a nightmare and I woke up with my heart beating fast and and hearing the voice of my boss at Happy gym, Francesca, echoing in my head and saying that it would take me almost an hour, while Chiara, the receptionist yoga teacher who used to work for Olympia weighing in that it would take me at least half an hour and our friends Paola and Fabio who summed up the problem as a bel panino di Nutella, implying that it would be impossible without a significant sugar rush, F convinced me that I should take a test run from one gym to the other. Literally. So, I, who also hate running, alternated running on the balls of my feet (because of the studies done at Harvard and with the African runners) and fast walking the 2.6 kilometers or 1.6 miles that separate the two gyms. Oh, of course, you're right in thinking I pulled my Achilles tendon. Plus I wasn't counting on having to run through the crowded Saturday market near Porta San Jacapo, dodging dogs and old ladies with overflowing shopping bags. Doing my absolute best, and, including the additional one or two minutes that it took to get through the market, I made it in 14 minutes. Of course the obstacle course continues at Olympia club where instructors both have to sign in at the front desk and pass through a turnstile to reach the classroom. I also have shoes to change if possible and the ipod to plug in.

The pigeons in the little perches thought I was ridonkulous.

As we were walking, well I was limping back, F mentioned that he guessed sometimes he could drive me. What???!! You mean I haven't slept for two nights and you could have just driven me? And then you wanted me to get out of bed on one my day off to run a mini marathon? Well, in fact, he has an English lesson to teach Friday nights and our car battery died and he has to pass the practical part of the driver's test on Wednesday before that could even happen, but still.

In unrelated news, I have to make sure that nothing goes on our wrong with Marisol's marathon birthday party because if you remember last year at this time I caused chaos and distress by coming to pick up T after 24 hours instead of after 27 hours. The friend whose husband I asked for a ride is no longer my friend. T and F think the curse of my evil deeds may be removed at midnight the night of this year's party. I plan to hide under the bed and have Paola pick T up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oh my stelle!

Yesterday my friend Laura the erborista came by so that I could translate her horoscope into Italian for her. She also had her friend Michel do my chart and it comes with a forecast of the year to come. We had F's homemade mushroom ravioli that I helped assemble. It was delicious. I have to say that mine was fairly personal to me and very different than Laura's so I am trying not to peek to close at the forecasts because it is a downer when any source tells you the next couple of weeks are going to suck. It is hard to understand the text if you don't know how to read the accompanying star charts, but here is a sample:

Specific Characterstics
You will be a person of kind and attractive nature, amiable disposition and generous character. You will have a social standing and may have some success in artistic field. You will have many friends, will be fond of pleasures and will have keen interest for personal decoration. You will possess a fertile imagination and piercing intellect. You will be fond of travel and lover of learning. You will be loquacious and will earn a living by the use of the pen: a correspondent, contributor, author or a writer. You may have a lashing tongue for which people may have mixed feelings for you. 
(GASP) With your writings too, you may become controversial. You will have a love of romance, travel and adventure.

Physical Attributes
According to your Horoscope, you will have a rounded, top-heavy fleshy body with wide chest, broad forehead, full face with pendulous cheeks and grey eyes. In mature age, you may have a double chin. Your limbs are comparatively short and your walk as such is likely to be swaying and laborious

General State of Health
Your zodiacal sign rules over the bones, skin and the knees. Thus, you are prone to rheumatism, arthritis and skin-complaints. Overwork is the very first thing that could strike the blow on your health if you don't take adequate rest or skip exercises.

Marriage and Married Life
Your chart indicates that you will be married at normal age-period. In your chart the Ascendant-lord and the 7th-lord are in Quintile aspect. This indicates a favourable and lasting relationship. Both the partners will have concern and considerations for each other. Mutual love and affection will keep you cheerful and in spirit. You will have a happy family-life.

Lucky Stone (YAY!)
Among auspicious gemstones DIAMOND (Heera) will be favourable for you. You may take 1/4 to 1/2 Ratti of Diamond in a ring of Gold or Platinum which should be worn on right hand ring finger on a Friday.

Daridra Yoga
This is an unfortunate combination. You may not have been born in favourable circumstances and you may have to struggle hard to push your way through life. You may have some financial difficulties and run into debts. You should stay away from speculations altogether. Certain fortunate combinations if present in your chart could offset and considerably modify the results of this adverse yoga.

I was buying into everything until the readings start to get more and more complicated. I dare you to explain to me what this means: 

Lord of 10th House
In your chart, the tenth-lord is situated in the twelfth house, which is called the house of expenses (Vyaya). Your career may have some connection with jail/ custody houses, asylums, hospitals, footwear, bedding materials, prophylactics, etc or you might be engaged in investigative jobs. If your Ascendant is Taurus, then your 10th-lord will be debilitated in the 12th for which may make you unhappy as you may not be fortunate in respect of your profession. Since the 12th is the 3rd from the 10th, you may have a transferable job or may have a few job-changes -- more so if the 10th-lord is in a movable sign (Aries or Cancer or Libra or Capricorn); you may have to go to distant and inconvenient places and live there for long -- more so if a natural malefic planet is situated in the 12th or aspects it.

This spooked me
Lord of 4th House
In your chart, the fourth-lord is situated in the eighth house, which is called the house of longevity (Ayus). You must need to be specially careful when you will be crossing over the bridges or will remain on or over the surface of large watery bodies like lakes, rivers, etc -- more so if you are a male person. This position is never good as chances of drowning is feared -- which may even lead to tragic death prematurely.

Which was counteracted by this: 

Since Venus is situated in your 8th house, you will be fortunate in many respects. Your spouse will hail from a family of status and your family-life will be joyous, cheerful, happy and endowed with abundance. You will remain in good health, won't need any major surgical treatment, won't have to face any accidental mishap, remain free from pestering problems and won't need to fight any law-suit. If your Ascendant is either Libra or Pisces, then you will enjoy the beneficial results of 'Veepareeta Raja Yoga' as you will become suddenly rich in a spectacular way. Your longevity will be very good and even your final 'exit' will be in a luxurious place, in a comfortable environment among your family, relatives or friends, with a little or no suffering.

But then I kind of gave up when I read:
Your married life will be more or less very good. You will normally get a responsible and loving wife. At the same time the health of the spouse will be cause of concern for you. Your wife will be having problems of acidity or uterus disorder.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cross eyed. Lovely shot. Not drunk at all.

Fat Tuesday/Martedi Grasso
Today has gotten off to a weird start. I didn't sleep again last night, probably due to all of the stress at Olympia Club yesterday. Then I taught this morning and my friends at Massimo Pretty Hair gave me quite the elaborate hairdo for tonight's party. It is sort of a half up ponytail with a teased top and curls cascading down the back.  I didn't have time to nap so I tried to stay awake by watching the Bachelor in slow motion on our high speed Internet. Ha.

Birthday boy on Fat Tuesday.
It struck me that I should probably write my students to see if they were still set on going through with this plan to party instead of exercise tonight. I confirmed with my private client  and asked if she wanted to come early so that she was sure to get her full workout in beforehand. First she wrote me back that it sounded great and then she wrote me back that her dog had taken a bite out of her pet chicken and that she was rushing to the vet's office in Pisa. Not a message that I can say I ever received even once when we lived in Brooklyn. I had a bit of coffee with lunch as a last resort so I can't even nap. Not to mention that I have a ton of bobby pins pressing into my scalp. I am going to have to just read aloud in Italian and then hope that the dance bug stings me so that I can perform tonight. Either that or drink more prosecco than usual. Stay tuned.
After seven cakes.

Our crazy, crazy group.

Blurry much.

Well, I got to the gym with the red wine chocolate cake that F made and a real rose bud that I had placed on the top for decoration. People greeted me by saying, "Oh no another cake! We've had seven today." Not something you hear people say every day (out loud anyway) at a gym. Two of my students arrived with grocery bags filled with potato chips and such.  We started drinking straight away. I still couldn't get past my tiredness and my legs felt that numb heavy feeling that makes you want to cry. I know this post is getting sloppy, but bear with me. There was a terrible moment of silent screaming in my head when I realized that my playlist didn't load and I was going to have to go back and forth to my Ipod all night long.
Refueling between dance numbers.

Also not blurry.

I plead a fifth.

Trust me on this: Nothing will make you want to do bodily harm to yourself more than beautiful Italian women yelling, "No, not that song. The good one!" all the while never giving you any specifics or further clue as to what the good one might be. Not rap, as it turns out. They dig Latin music, if anything. And then I remembered the Beyonce` number which I had spent all weekend memorizing and that went over big time. Well, that was satisfying. But still the ladies were feeling shy and encumbered until one had the idea to turn out the lights. In the pitch black about ten of us went frenetically crazy dancing about in a circle and jumping up and down like we were at a rave. The people working out in the main room were completely dumbstruck. We, of course, didn't care. We, of course, had had five plastic cups of prosecco. Then they put the lights on and told me to pole dance. I obliged with a number straight out of the movie Burlesque. I didn't see the movie, but I am pretty sure that Cher would have been proud. Then we sat in a circle to eat the cake and realized we had finished all the wine. So the gym owner came in with three more bottles from his office. Oh, now you are going to tell me that this doesn't happen every day at your gym. Well, what can I say? I found the right place. God, it's me K. Please let me sleep tonight.
Martedi Grasso parte due
I also should mention that while I was off being, let us say, festive. F was working on three websites and baking me a cake and picking up T's report card/pagella all by himself. He said there were thousands of parents lined up in the second floor corridor of her middle school. Once he pushed his way past to a group that he recognized as belonging to T's class, he felt relieved. Five minutes later T came by and let F and the other parents know that they were standing in front of the wrong door. Welcome to Italy, folks.  For this special day only the math professor was waiting for them at the other side of the hall of the monastery. Our friend Paola who is also a class mom arranged for F to cut the line. He was in and out of the meeting before you could say pasta frolla. T got stellar grades and we don't even help her with anything anymore unless you count asking every five minutes, "Did you do your homework?" ala "Are we there yet?" She, as I'm sure she would tell you, does not find this helpful at all.

Remember the grades here are from 1- 10 with 10 being the best. If you get less than a 4 you are fritta. She got all 8s except for a seven in Italian grammar, which is understandable, a 7 in Technology, which is mostly about how things like paper are made and whose tests are still a mystery to us, a 6 in playing the recorder in music, whatever, and a 10 in English. Genius. Plus let's face it, she has excellent DNA.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today was exhausting. Even for me.
Beyoncé has left the building
The Run the World routine was a bit lackluster at Happy gym because I hadn't figured out all of the repetitions at that point; by the time I did the second class at LIFE fitness it was starting to come together; and you would have thought that when it was finally time for the big show at Olympia Club it would have been fabulous, but you would be only half right. Before class officially started about fifteen females of various ages entered and we did a couple of slam dunk practice rounds, but when the clock struck five thirty I got a bit flustered and we were off the counts by a bit. And I kind of forgot a chunk. Most of them, hopefully, didn't notice, but I did get some glaring looks afterwards that either meant that they did notice or that I pushed their buttons a little too hard by making them do a Beyoncé number first thing without any warning.

I have a dream.

They were serving prosciutto sandwiches on focaccia in the main workout room for Fat Tuesday. This was not lost on F who only abstained because we are vegetarians. He came into the sala with me to see if it was, in fact, possible to use our audio cable to attach an Ipod to their mixing board. The funniest part was that he had to pad up the stairs in blue plastic surgical plastic slippers which barely got over his size 13 feet because the powers that be at the Olympia Club do not wish to dampen the blue runway carpet they had covering their wooden floors. My new co-worker Nicola's response to my suggestion that he too could use an ipod instead of always having to pay for new CDs --although I suspect the teacher are mostly using pre-made CDs from 1995-- was "K you are the future. You are from NY. You should only speak English to people and watch them freak out." Um okay.

Soda and ham sandwiches at the gym. Yum?

There is only one meter between me and my destiny.

I also want to say here and now for the record that my dream in life is to work in the Zeus sala. Right now they have me in the Apollo sala, which is one fourth the size of the Zeus and is completely sealed off with persian blinds that are perpetually closed. No one can see what we are doing unless that telecamera is in fact working, but I have yet to identify it's whereabouts so it is still possible that it is taking pictures of my roots or of my tush the whole entire time. To give you an idea of the disparity between the rooms I barely packed in 23 clients (according to Rocco, my boss, who also wants me to get a count each night from now on, please) and the Zeus had 53.  The Apollo is like Flushing, Queens, and the Zeus is like the Upper East Side. I am from Flushing originally, but I lived most of my life on the Upper West Side and then in Park Slope, which everyone knows is the annex of Upper East Side. But you get the drift: my clients arrived on a bus and theirs in town cars. My mission is clear. Everyone in the whole joint watches what is going on in the Zeus. I thought of leading a congo line for next week in which I have people chant, "Mercoledi/Wednesday-six-thirty-Zeus," (which is the time and place I would ideally like a second class to take place.) But F said that would be inappropriate. Boh. I have a dream even if that dream has the name of a second rate fraternity.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Wanderings

Tonight I bumped into our dear friends Adonella and Carlo and they told me that they found out about our blog at the Indian dinner and looked it up. Carlo said that one day we will have to explain some of the slang American expressions.  In particular he wanted to know what it meant that Oreos are my crack.  Once I explained it to him he said, "Oh I get it; so K is F's crack."Nice.

 These are some of the shots that F took for the website he is designing for the restaurant downstairs. The couple is Stefania and her husband whose name we don't remember. There is a 75% chance that it is either Stefano, Marco or Alessandro. He asked us the other day if there are really beaches in New York and we answered him earnestly and I went so far as to spell out Coney Island in Italian. As we reentered our stairwell to go upstairs, he turned to our other friend who is a chef at the restaurant on the other side of the courtyard and said, "It was just a joke." And we felt ridiculous. It was late and cold and we were just getting home to eat dinner and the last thing I thought of was that he was being funny. Oy.

 I was out looking for a present for Barbara whose birthday party is tonight. In the end I found a gorgeous bracelet and the store Shanti in via San Paolino. I walked around with Paola and caught up on all the inside mommy track information that I am missing by not going to pick up T at school lately. F always goes just because her backpack is too heavy for either T or I to carry and as it is she throws it at him and then walks off with her friends. It goes much faster if he just zips back and forth on his bike instead of my having to push past all of the shrieking and shoving masses of middle schoolers.

This morning I made notes of exercises for five hours. After that I studied a youtube video that features these African dancers who break down the dance steps Beyonce does to her song Run the World. I am hoping that I can use this as the big opening number at the Olympia Club tomorrow, but I am afraid that it will be hard to teach it in Italian in only five minutes. Thank goodness I went to bed early last night instead of going out to this disco out in Lunata. I was thrilled to be invited by some friends from the gym, but I heard afterwards that the music was so loud no one could even converse during the 30 euro a head dinner. And since I was only rich enough to head out after the dinner when the tables were cleared it would have been a very late night.

Barbara's birthday party was nice. I spoke mostly to my friend Ale and to Barbara's sisters. I like Barbara and Alessandro a lot. They are very down to earth and easy to be with. Their apartment reminds me of an artist's loft in Greenwich village. They are kind of effortlessly hip in a way that I could never be. F, who is nothing if not a team player has been frantically trying to rid the house of Oreos, made Oreo brownie cupcakes which went over very well with the guests, although several asked us what the white stuff is in the middle of the Oreos. I did not give a clear answer as I have spent years trying not to know.
Barbara blowing out the candles.
Chatting away with Barbara's sisters

F made lunch for our friends Fabio and Anna Maria who just found out that their youngest daughter may have celiac disease.  He made them a gluten free pasta with tomato sauce and a homemade gluten free pizza.  She is a very picky eater so we were thrilled that she even asked for seconds.  After lunch we went to say hi to our friends Fabio and Adriana that work at the antique market and our friends from Germany that we have nicknamed the Tommy Hillfiger twins, who have lost 11 kilos each on this raw food diet that they have been following. Talk about will power.