Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Benvenuto Italia

I was stunned that I did not fall fast and head first in love with Italy as I imagined I would have, having dreamed for so many years about coming here. But I did not. Don't get me wrong, I think it is truly amazing and I am sure love will blossom. But the first few days were rough, to say the least. Perhaps it was the culmination of the wild ride I had been on, perhaps the long journey and most certainly the lack of sleep which led me to a few WTF moments, where I wondered, what had we been thinking. I cried a lot, especially the first night. So did Molly. At 13, she was not excited about the move from the start, she was concerned about missing her friends, her cat and our home.

Each day has become a little bit easier for both of us, I tell Molly to give it a chance, this is something we will look back on and be grateful for this opportunity. For me, I know things will get easier with time, they already are. When I thought about all that had fallen into place to make this happened, how the universe seemed to be showing us this was the right path, I knew that there must be something more, I knew I just needed some sleep.

It has been nearly a week since we arrived in Italy, and already we have had many great experiences, really everything we do is a learning experience. I was a bit intimidated by the language barrier, and I felt awkward at not being able to speak Italian in Italy. It seems so pompous to expect them to know my language. I mean I can't imagine someone coming up to me in Canada and expecting I might know Italian or some other foreign language. But it is amazing how helpful the people are and how understanding. We manage to piece together conversations with the odd word in each language and then a lot of hand gestures.
My new best friend is google translate. So far, I don't think I have offended anyone. But I can't be sure.

Grocery shopping was a great learning experience. As we have some pretty specific dietary requirements, grocery shopping can be challenging at the best of times, let alone, reading labels in another language. Luckily we are all open and I bought many items on 'lets try it and see if we like it' basis and we have already picked some favourites. We are learning more about cheese and milk and I really think it is great to force your self out of your comfort zone at times and experience new things.

I am impressed by the quality and variety of the foods. It is great to see so many locally made products. Already we have found that there are lots of options for a vegetarian family. I must admit it has been mainly pasta, paninis and pizza so far, but as I get more settled I will get more adventurous, both in shopping and cooking.

We like to walk each day to the nearby village for a cappuccino and some gelati. It is a beautiful stroll though the olive grove and then down into the village. And each day we see something new. Today we sadly found out the gelati is done for the season. But hey, they are still open for cappuccino!

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