Monday, July 15, 2013

Masterchef Italia
F and I are just a little obsessed with Masterchef Italia. Some nice individual whose name ended in ballerino posted the whole first season on youtube, but now we have to slowly poach the puntatas off another site to view the second season. I can't stop. Don't ask me to. It is something about the adorable yet stern judges and the mix of passionate home cooks who, unlike their counterparts in America, really only have one shot to change their lives that gets me. It is the double whammy of trying to get approval from a fatherly professor who is only giving you a hard time to bring out the best in you and the glossy allure of the food itself along with the sheer sincerity of the contestants in their zeal to win that makes the Italian version superior. Plus how can you not love a show where the first season winner was a gay, orphan from Greece with a lisp?

Things are slowing down which is good because I am truly stanca morta. I have exactly eleven more days at the fancy gym before my month of vacation. It is very hot and humid in Lucca and we are really counting the seconds until we can go to London. We tried really hard to fill out the renewal of the permesso di soggiorno by ourselves so our friends Anna Maria and Fabio would not have to work so hard to help us out, but we left a lot of the spaces blank because we were afraid to make mistakes. I feel like I would need a PhD in public administration before I could ever get that puppy done all by myself and I wonder how everyone else on line at the police station manages to get their papers filled out. I don't have  a definite contract offer for September, but it seems like the powers that be at the fancy gym are going to up my number of hours by three  for a total of eight classes a week, which will work out fine.

Every Friday this nice lady Manuella who works on the cleaning staff at the fancy gym lies down on the stage in the big classroom and I give her a massage. It is more of a service that she does for me than the other way around. After having already taught on Friday mornings, my nerves are usually fried by the afternoon session, and getting her knots out relaxes me before I have to face the same workout again at the end of a long week.

On Saturday I went window shopping with Alessandra, Monica and Giada -- three of my students at the fancy gym who I want to be better friends with. We had a nice time and they are going to come for brunch on my last Sunday at work. They have been really good to me and always try to give me passaparola and encourage people to try my class. They have even brought a few men to try my class and we have had a blast watching them leave ponds of sweat while executing attitudes and arabesques and doing things they have never even thought about doing before. Making friends like them makes everything I go through at the fancy gym worth while. One thing I learned about them is that all three are all wild about muffins. Muffins are not really an Italian thing, but there is a really fattening version available at the juice bar near my house. After shopping, they admitted to having over-indulged a bit after I went home to collapse in a two hour nap, so I promised them the healthier version that F makes T and me at home all the time with whole wheat flour, berries, and dark chocolate bits. For the record, had I maintained consciousness, I would have over indulged with them and I would not have looked back.

The fact that there is no bus or that the bus has been moved while they do construction in the fancy gym's zone (which is scheduled to finish roughly after the italian tinkerbell - campanellino-- receives enough applause from people who believe in fairies and also Italian road completion) is only a relief to me. As you well know, I have magical thinking when it comes to money and also a deathly phobia of driving and so the fact that F chauffeurs me around like an eleven year old soccer afficionando is fine with me. It is only my great powers of imagination that allow me to keep believing that 70% money I earn getting emotionally abused by my coworkers and sweating my ass off while couting from one to eight in Italian over and over again is not getting sucked from our wallets at the gas station.

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