Saturday, February 06, 2016

Anne Lamott, honey

Well, Anne Lammott said that you shouldn't be afraid to write about people because they should just claim their actions. Rarely have I been reticent to do that here, if you haven't noticed. But this week I'm gulping first.

Also we all know that one day I will be sued for slander or copyright infringement, but until that fine day check out this image:

Um, does anyone not see the red flag if your groom chooses this wedding cake?

This week I woke up on Sunday with a fractured pinky toe. I could only wear T's neon orange sneakers with no soles in them for four days. On Monday I had an ear ache. Over the week it turned into yet another stomach virus. My ovary still hurts. So I may not be someone you want to mess with.

The Red Cross lady reached out to me. I hadn't gotten back to her because Tina was suffering from migraines, two people had colds, and one had a high fever. Nobody has health cards so I had to recommend the emergency room. She told me about some of the good work she is doing. She told me that Africans should not have the flu shot because they are not used to those virus strains. From my subsequent research, it seems that WHO would disagree with her. She used the terms African time and African truth to refer to her sense that the immigrants in Italy do not have a sense of urgency when it comes to keeping appointments and that they often provide different birthdates on different documents. I think people in desperate circumstances sometimes resort to crafty measures. We have. Read this blog, if you don't believe me. But, again, I didn't get the feeling that we have the same perspective on global issues even if we may share some of the same objectives. And, as it turns out, the same Italian Betty White gynecologist. Anyway, she mentioned that her Nigerian translator was this guy Christian. My reporter contact Nadia also mentioned him. I had a flash and remembered that I had not accepted the friendship of a Nigerian guy named Christian on facebook sometime back. Of course, it turned out to be him.

T sent me this as a joke.

Following Nadia's instructions, I reached out to him to tell him about my group and that he might be called on to translate. Then I panicked and thought that maybe the Red Cross lady would be upset about it so I told him that he need not mention it. Then I realized it was hardly a federal crime to introduce myself. But he wrote back that he was horn. I had a terrible feeling that he had friended me because he was feeling horn-y. But then he wanted to be hornets. This is understandable because written English is not easy even for me. About three minutes later I realized that he wanted to have honesty because the Red Cross lady had changed his life for the better and I super respected that and felt like an idiot so I said I would just talk to her. I messaged her and she never got back to me. So, know this, Red Cross lady. I shoot from the hip. I am an open book. I am trying to do a good thing. I want to work with you. And the only people who I know to read this blog are my mother and a few Ukranian guys looking for porn. Plus I have never used your name.

Next, I limped over to meet with the head of the Catholic charity Caritas because I figured that if Tina wants to keep her baby we need to get Catholic on the situation. And fast. My personal beliefs allow for me to honor any religion that has holidays involving the ceremonial eating of chocolate so I feel like I am pretty coherent in this. God and I are on pretty good terms. The lady is named Donatella. I love her. I was oddly enchanted that she  was wearing braces. She asked me to write down all the facts about my guys. I told her I would also like to work with the Red Cross lady and she said the more people who help the merrier. I spent the week not having any real problems with African time and getting copies of all of their documents. I pledged the sum of my every waking non English teaching hours to dedicate to any translating or other task she wanted from me if she would only help my group. She wrote back at two thirty in the morning and that made me feel like I got a good one.

Nadia was late, Italian on time, to the meeting so I went in without her. I felt terrible about that because then she called me - she had my number but she hadn't given me hers - to say she had been outside the office for fifteen minutes. When she got inside she was tremendously supportive. Unfortunately, this almost meant catching me when I fainted due to low blood pressure and she brought me sugar water.

F had a wonderful idea. We want to get our foodie power Italian contacts to work with Caritas to open a Pan African restaurant in Florence that would serve as job training and placement for immigrants. We will have a dinner about that in March. 

Here is my class *They're supposed to be speaking English:

I cheated on my hairdresser. The indignities of my being 46 involve covering my white hair on the regular. Every two years I overdo it and my hair turns from chocolate to charcoal. Over the years I have spent a fortune discovering the antidote. I know what it is but the miracle was finding a place where people would really follow my instructions to the letter if I did my part in learning the necessary vocabulary in Italian. Little did I know that my hairdresser would be in my neighbor's choral group and that her boss would good naturedly tease me incessantly. I was also not prepared to wear an Ethel Merman silicone hat and have tweezers pull the strands through before bleaching the color out of them. I am thrilled with the results although I feel guilty for betraying my wonderful friends at the other hair salon. This place costs a lot less, though.

Bernie Sanders came to talk to me in a barbershop. Just kidding.

When I got home seven people wearing ambulance worker jumpsuits came to take away the old couches. When they pulled up the pillows they found not just holes and ink stains, but a three course meal of crumbs left by former tenants that F sheepishly vacuumed up. I hope we don't need an ambulance anytime soon.

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