Friday, July 26, 2013

Publicity stunts, butterfly wings, and even more bureaucracy

When I don't even know which country I'm in when I wake up in the morning, it is still creepy to hear somebody playing the Godfather theme on the accordian outside my window. That's all I'm saying.

I continue to be one of those crazy Tracy Anderson groupies who hang on her every new instagram photo of her midsection, new detox shake or overpriced leggings because I then put it on Facebook as proof that my exercise class is the bomb and all of my Italian clients love it. I am an A+ student in that I do her muscular work up to three times a day, but I am lacking in the cardio department since I don't like all that jumping on the balls of my feet and prefer to dance when I am in the mood in my own style. I also eat a good deal more than 700 calories a day and prefer my food in a non-liquid form, but other than that I have been very faithful to her for over two years now. I am reaffirming my status as the Robin Hood of exclusive exercise methods which I then share with my entirely non celebrity friends.

Recently I did some publicity myself when I saw that Shwings --little wings that you put on your shoes by threading them in the laces -- had arrived in Italy. T and I were the first people to wear them in Lucca, but I ordered ours online for Valentine's day. They have been very popular in America for a while now based on what I have seen on the Internet. I had thought about importing them, but the price was already so high I couldn't figure out how to make a profit on them. I wanted to use butterflies as the symbol of my class since the name --metamorfosi -- makes people think of butterflies, but butterflies have apparently been ruined in Italy as a creature of innocence by Berlusconi and Belen. So I have adopted the wings or shwings and my new symbol. (Berlusconi referred to his harem of underaged women as his "butterflies" -yuck- and model actress Belen  Rodriguez, who is always in the tabloids here, wore a tattoo of one instead of underwear to the Sanremo music festival.)  Anyway, I got the manager of the shoe store to say he would connect with me on Facebook. I said I would do some publicity for them  so that all my students will want to wear wings which can, in turn, serve as advertising for my class. It turns out the manager of the shoe store, Simone, is also friends with one of the gym owners.

Can I open them yet?
Oh Belen, honey, that's a bit tacky.

We had our annual pow wow with Anna Maria and Fabio. Anna Maria, you remember, is my police officer friend who saves my life occasionally when the bureaucracy of Lucca becomes too overwhelming. I thought we were all prepared for the dreaded renewal of our stay permits, but it turned out that a lot of the regulations have changed since our last renewal, and we now have to pay more fees and have more documentation, including a letter from our elusive commercialista with an official stamp on it no less. Anna Maria also scared the pants off me that we needed a letter from an Italian court in order to have T's half Italian, half English friend Giorgia travel with us from England to Ireland to Italy without her parents. However the British homeland security site says we just need a permission letter from her parents. I will be dropping a twenty euro note at the reception desk so that when Anna Maria stops by for her weekly and well deserved massage by Samuele she will be able to enter the spa for free. I might have intimated that it wouldn't cost me anything, but a small white lie is worth it to be able to repay her for all of her help.

My boss Giacomo who is a cross between James Bond and one of the 007 villains just returned from frolicking on the island of Elba during his ferie/vacation days where he crossed paths with singer Biagio Antonacci who just happens to be Anna Maria's celebrity crush. Giacomo seemed surprised when I told him that Wednesday is my last day at the fancy gym. He said he would find a substitute for me for the month of August and that we have to meet about my new schedule for September. Stay tuned because he always brings the blog-worthy drama.

In other news, T has learned to cook this summer and has prepared several lovely meals for us along with some very tasty desserts and popovers. I am relieved that she has skills and will be able to provide for herself  and probably all of her hungry friends for years to come. She is also keeping herself busy painting and taking photographs. She is considering borrowing from the HONY - Humans of New York concept and making a Humans of Lucca Facebook page where she interviews strangers and takes their portraits. I'm not going to argue with her. She, as of yesterday, has purple hair and she is a full three inches taller than me.

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