OMG – I flew back to the USA one month ago and went AWOL! Not really, I just got off the plane, leaped into the fray and went into culture shock. Let’s turn back the clock….
Leaving Pontelandolfo is always emotional for me. I get a little teary eyed as I put the boxes in the storage room. Life there is – well – just good for me. With our suitcases stacked on the terrace, we stuck our thumbs out and hooked a ride with the Sindaco of Casalduni and two of the consigliere. They were headed to Naples for a regional meeting on the windmills. (To remind yourselves why I hate them read – http://wp.me/p3rc2m-pp.)
These bright young men, loaded with data that defines the negative impact windmills have on their town and the towns around them, were preparing for battle. Riding with them I felt like the fly on the wall as they revisited the travesty that is the green mandate and tweaked their presentation. At Capodichino they pulled over, yanked our overstuffed bags out of the trunk and sped off to lend their voices to the cause.
I pulled out my Italian passport at the Alitalia desk and attempted to check in. Six Months ago, I entered the country on an Italian passport and figured I should let them know I was leaving. With her heavily shadowed eyes, the counter attendant looked at me sternly and snarled where is your visa. Visa. Shit, I wasn’t the clandestino. She wants my visa? “Perche?” USA visa. “Oh, I don’t need one,” and I whipped out my USA passport. “Sono cittadina!” She got nicer and said that she appreciated the fact that I loved my history enough to have both. Whew. PS, she let my overweight carry-on go with a warning.
Quick leap to Rome. I had forgotten what an incredible mall Leonardo Da Vinci Airport was. It I hadn’t had to show my passport I would have thought I was at the Short Hills Mall or on Rodeo Drive. Gucci, Dolce and Gabana, Burberry, Mont Blanc…
Women with mid-western twangs sat behind me at the gate. Here is what I listened to —
Sicily – whadda ya think?
It was Ok but there wasn’t anything you know, cute. The shops didn’t have anything I would want. All they have are fish stores and bakeries. There wasn’t any place cute like you know Bed, Bath and Beyond… Would you come back?
Why? We came once. How about that beach – you know with the club? What a drop off. Did you go in?
Yeah but in my bikini – I had to wear ugly swim shoes. Beach has rocks. Didn’t know it was rocky and …
NO I DID NOT BLATHER AT THEM OR STAB MYSELF WITH A PEN. I did think – Open your bloody eyes bitches! I didn’t even turn around to see how old they were. Well, yeah I did – Shit my age…
We love Alitalia for its Premium Economy. Cost less than First Class, the seats are comido and it is a great bargain using air miles.
Landed at JFK on a Thursday night and hit the tarmac running. The next morning I was meeting with the caterer and facilities manager for the the Hillsborough Jr. High 50th Reunion – scheduled for a week later.
Price point culture shock set in almost instantly. I ordered a cappuccino and the barista said $4.75 – what the f**k – I have been paying .90 in the land of the cappuccino.
Enough. I’m back. The blog is back. You’re back. Life is good. Ci vediamo!