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Things I Do Here That I Didn’t Do There

January 28, 2011 in spazarific


In Japan:

  • Ride a bike around town
  • Speak Japanese in public; study it on the train
  • Eat aloe yogurt and sausage rolls for breakfast; tempura udon soup for lunch; a negitoro onigiri for snack; nikkujaga for dinner
  • Buy, at the grocery store, dashi, mirin, sake, konbu, and ebisen
  • Field frequent molestation attempts at the tiny hands of children
  • Take off my shoes when entering a room or a home
  • Suck green tea through my pores
  • Drink beer on the train, in front of temples, on the street
  • Wear a size 22 shoe
  • Wake to the sounds of the grilled sweet potato vendor.  焼き...いも...焼き...いも。。。
  • Go to sleep as my friends back home were waking up

In Ireland:

  • Rely on a double-decker bus to get around town
  • Respond to “Are you all right, there?” with “I’m grand, thanks”
  • Eat Flahavan’s porridge for breakfast; a Hanley’s Cornish pastie for lunch; Jaffa Cakes for a snack; baked Irish salmon for dinner.
  • Buy, at the butcher shop, lamb chops and bright orange Irish salmon fillets
  • Wear a size 3 shoe
  • Drink black tea like it was going out of style
  • Dodge fat black conkers on the sidewalk
  • Play with my one-eyed feline friend, Patch
  • Spend my days in the birthplace of Oscar Wilde; expecting genius to rub off
  • Wake to the sounds of birds; say goodnight to the swans on the Grand Canal on a walk home from the pub

In Italy:

  • Drive myself around; a big hearty vaffanculo to Italian drivers
  • Speak Italian all day long; swear in English in fits of road rage
  • Eat a cornetto for breakfast; pappardelle con burro e parmigiano for lunch; supplì for a snack; fiori di zucca fritte and prosciutto for dinner
  • Buy, at the grocery store, wine, parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto, anchovy fillets, cavolo romano, cornetti
  • Wake to the sounds of a screaming toddler and packs of angry stray dogs
  • Walk alongside the beach; gaze at the mountains; fill empty passata bottles with shells
  • Kiss on both cheeks to say hello
  • Write my novel at a caffe
  • Wear a size 35 shoe
  • Take the train to Rome once a week
  • Lie about my living situation to avoid small town gossip and creeps
  • Drink wine without hangovers; a mystery
  • Walk past Roman ruins on my way home

Things I do no matter where I am:

  • Say hello to cats and dogs. All cats and dogs.
  • Sing in the shower. Every morning.
  • Get hard at the thought of Duran Duran, Archie comics, monkeys, karaoke, a cosmetics department, a bottle of perfume, my next meal.
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving. Every year. Turkey or no.
  • Write in English. Every day.

Errands; Rain

January 24, 2011 in spazarific

And I spoke too soon – it’s back, the Italian winter rain; slanted and stinging and freezing cold. It starts in the morning, slows to a sputter a few minutes before siesta, and then it’s on again, full force, as soon as I step out of the apartment. Puddles sopping up my pant leg; my windshield fogged and icy; the beach a mass of soupy mud. So much for the idyllic seashore in winter – give me my blanket or  give me death.

But I have things to do; things I was putting off last fall, things that got forgotten during my trip back home, things that have gone forgotten since I’ve returned. Pick out some curtains. Mail out a thank-you card. Refill my fridge. Get my carta d’identita already – that is, my Italian ID so I can stop carrying around my passport like a tourist. And it’s so gross out. And I don’t want to leave the house. And yet.

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The Beach in Winter

January 19, 2011 in spazarific

And now, after a month eating my face off back home in the States with my loved ones, we’re back in Italy. The weather is beautiful, the sea is luscious, and I’m eating pasta again after a 30-day pasta detox. The people I know here say that nothing new has happened since I’ve been away but that’s not true – Paolo’s dog has apparently started a gang war with the neighborhood strays and upstairs, my neighbors have exchanged Emilia for another baby who looks just like her but is a bit taller and screams a lot less. Uncanny, the resemblance.

I’m back at work – freelance assignments in the morning and fiction writing in the caffe by afternoon. The staff has welcomed me back and I’m expanding my knowledge of their menu by ordering hot chocolate and spremuta every once in a while. No new car drama to report and here’s hoping it stays that way.

I try to walk along the beach every day. Everyone told me that come winter, I’d be unhappy living on the very edge of town; that the beach would be dank and sad and depressing; that I’d regret my decision to stay year-round in what is by and large a tourist town.

I dunno. Doesn’t seem so bad to me.

Face Off

January 6, 2011 in spazarific

New York City. Ice and slush on the ground; supposed to snow hard tomorrow; inside Diego’s apartment drinking Vitamin Water and eating Chef Boyardee; mentally preparing for Polish dinner in Greenpoint with my former coworkers; ’tis a rough life indeed.

Thought I’d do something unusual here on I Eat My Pigeon this afternoon as I wait for the Beefaroni to be absorbed into my bloodstream; that is, respond to a reader’s comment. Now I don’t do this very often, mainly because until recently, I haven’t gotten many*. But I got one today that has been asked before in various media, from you out there in Internet land and my own friends and family so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

*thanks, y’all.

Re: my most recent post about my awesome winter wear:

It’s adorable! Don’t listen to your boy; some men just don’t understand fashion. Well, to be fair and non-sexist, some women don’t understand fashion either. But anyways, the point is that your winter look is very cute.

p.s. Why do you always hide your face?

-signed, Odysseus

Thank you, Odysseus. I am adorable, no matter what my brother says. But “Why Do You Always Hide Your Face?” Good question. Here’s your answer:

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