My beautiful friend Hannah Briggs McNeill sent me this note: “Much love and appreciation for you. Your book is funny and quirky and beautiful and makes me want to hop right over to Newfoundland to hug you.”
I can’t wait to be a Newfoundlander who travels and blogs again. Until then, here’s an excerpt from my time in Italy:
Everyone is going around speaking Italian. When they’re not speaking Italian, they’re speaking other languages with Italian accents.
I try not to speak at all so tourists will think I’m Italian and mysterious. Even when Italians say things like, Please pass the butter, it sounds like, Shall we make love in a tender field of lace?
I feel conversant already.
Hey you! Il cucchiaio! (Hey you! Spoon!) This can also mean: Come here and spoon with me! or Hey there! You look like a beautiful spoon!
(The spoon isn’t important for pasta twirling. Spoons are eschewed. Eschew you, spoon.)
Everyone is sexy as hell. The old people. The young people. The poor people. The middle-aged people. Especially the women, of any age. If you’re a middle- aged woman of any age, get thee to Italy. Adolescents will fall before you with fake heart attacks in hopes of mouth to mouth. People our own age especially find us sexy. If you sit at a street café plucking your chin hair, you’ll have three marriage proposals before lunch.
The drivers are very polite. They will screech to a halt and cause a fifty-car pileup, just so a little old lady with a broom can cross the street.
I’ve caused many pileups because I keep darting into the street. When I cross the street, I stop to bow at all the handsome crashing drivers.
When Michelangelo lost his original sketch of the doodads he planned to paint on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, someone found it and thought it was the plan for the roads in Italy. Once they were made, it was too embarrassing to admit the mistake, so they left them that way.