Friday, December 31, 2004

look for a handsome man...

Let's try this again. I wrote a genius blog this afternoon, and with my last sentance, the electricity went out. While a tragedy, I've decided that the previous blog wasn't meant to be, and thus, you get this one.
First things first. I am now moving here. Italy is fucking fabulous. We're all getting into it, with Dad and Alex walking around in huge Eurotrash scarves and sunglasses. All they're missing are Vespas.
Last night, we napped and had wine in our huge 15th century apartment, and then went out for dinner. We found a fabulous trattoria 2 seconds from our piazza and dined and drank for an eternity. Perhaps I'm tapping into the fourth of my heritage that's Italian, but everything's better here. The clothes, the food, the wine...it's so much more marvelous than at home.
Mom's overwhelmed with her own fabulusness as she was actually hit upon by a local. She speaks of little else, and in addition to her in-flight screening of Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy, getting picked up by some dirty old Italian is the highlight of her trip.
Today, we slept in till 11am, and then sat around getting ready, drinking coffee, and watching tsunami coverage on the BBC. We're quite anxious for Jenny to arrive on Sunday as she was actually in Thailand when the tsunami hit. While she's been studying in Florence for the past 6 months, her school group decided to spend the holidays in Southeast Asia. Nice timing. She's perfectly fine, of course, but will have a far more interesting perspective than the rest of us. Like everyone else on the planet, we're pretty obsessed with getting tsunami info, and have taken to carrying around our copies of the International Herald Tribune, which Lufthansa throws at you like peanuts.
This morning, we headed out to the local food market, stocking up on bread, meat, cheese, and wine for the apartment. It was quite fun mingling with the locals, who either couldn't be bothered with us or flirted like crazy. We now have more food than anyone could possibly eat, although, it looks so fabulous, it'll be gone in a week.
Lunch was huge individual pizzas along our piazza, and then shopping. Mom and I went nuts on the Ponte Veccio, drooling over gold, diamonds, and handbags. I'm thrilled to report that the knock-off selection here rivals China. Seriously, I'm going nuts. Mom and I wandered through the cobblestone streets, finally coming upon a huge tent filled with stalls.
"Hey. I think I've been here." I said, and mom readilly agreed, we had indeed shopped here 11 years ago. I don't remember museums, I don't remember cathedrals, but take me to a great accessory market, it's burned in my brain forever. At one point, I wandered over to inspect some pashminas as mother haggled over huge leather overnight bags. She looked up and I was gone. The salesman kept trying to talk to her, but in her panic, mom couldn't concentrate. "I can't find my daughter!"
The salesman laughed and casually replied, "Look for a handsome man."
I love Italy.
We shopped all afternoon, stopping only for cappuchinos and people watching. As we strolled home, the dark alleyways lit only by the strings of lights hanging above us, old men stood in doorways, smiled, and said "Buona Serra." Beat that.
Tonight, it's dinner in the neighborhood and then New Year's festivities. I have no idea what we'll find and quite frankly, don't really care. I very much subscribe to the Patrick Reese philosophy that New Year's Eve is "amateur night" and would be perfectly happy sitting at a bar flirting with some grad student.
Having been here a solid 24 hours, I'm entirely assimilated. I know my Italian phrases, I can order the house wine flawlessly, and I've already selected everything I want to buy.
Unlike our China trip 6 months ago, in which we travelled constantly and were forced to, you know, learn about the culture and shit, Italy is all about chilling out, sipping cappuchinos, and looking fabulous. This is my kind of vacation, and my kind of town...