Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“Thank you, falletinme be mice elf, agin”–thank you, Sly and the Family Stone

I’ve been monitoring how well the book is doing. It’s remained in the Top 100 on Amazon in Parenting/Relationships/Adoption under “Books” and “Kindle Ebooks”. Today, though, it dropped out of “Books”. I was crestfallen. Truthfully, though, it is to be expected. An unknown such as I was lucky to get the rankings I did for as long as I did. Considering that there’s tens of thousands of books out there in this genre, I really can’t expect much more. I’m still in the Top 100 under Kindle and I’m thankful for that. Of course, I think all it really takes is a couple of sales to bring me back up the rankings. With Christmas coming, perhaps there will be some gift-givers out there.

On to other things. My back has improved tremendously. I’m no longer in agonizing pain. I haven’t had a painkiller in about two days. I still have some pain, but it’s manageable. I can sleep. The odd thing is that I have more pain when I sleep than when I sit or walk. Since I seem to do nothing but walk, this is a good thing.

I do have to share what has been happening here in Alba Adriatica, Italy. It would appear that my reputation as the American author is spreading. A couple of weeks ago I was in a bar called Perche’ No. I believe I mentioned this before, but I will touch upon it anyway. They waitress asked for my autograph when she found out about my book. A few nights ago I went back to Perche’ No. A different waitress asked if I was “the American author”. I said “yes” and she got all excited, also requesting an autograph.

This was all very flattering, but it pales in comparison to a conversation I had in my favorite pizzeria, Cafe Giulia. I was sitting in the cafe with my laptop, tapping away when a gentleman came up to me. He asked if I was the American author and I stated I was. He started to get animated that he had found me. Apparently, the owner of Cafe Giulia, who I had befriended, had told him about the American author who has family in Italy and is writing about Italian towns.

This gentleman spoke a bit of English. When he saw that I was able to speak a bit of Italian, he launched into an avalanche of Italian, assuming I could understand as much as I speak. I was getting perhaps twenty percent of his words. What I was able to gather was that he has a friend in in L’Aquila, a city about an hour south of here and site of a major earthquake a few years ago. His friend works for a newspaper–I could not understand if he was a writer, publisher, editor or what. But, this guy apparently wants to meet me. We are meeting for coffee (of course) today at 4:00 p.m. Italian time. It will be interesting to find out what he wants.

I believe this gentleman thinks I’m still looking for my family. He knows about the book. I will need to correct his misunderstanding so he understands.

It has been fascinating, this whole experience so far. I’ve only been here three weeks and already my reputation is getting around. Alba is a small town, roughly 12,000 people. It surges to 50,000 during the summer months with all the tourists. But for those who call it home, everyone seems to know each other and this new person, this American who has chosen to move here during winter, this author/writer seems to have captured people’s attention. I find it flattering and encouraging. I wonder what else is out there for me?

All I did was come here quietly and try not to be too obtrusive. I knew I wouldn’t blend in, not with my American swagger and my American attitude (meant in a good way). I knew I wouldn’t adopt the Italian way and that it would be awhile before I’m fluent in the language and seem Italian. Indeed, I’ve had people mistake me for Dutch and English.

Most, however, realize I’m American and they are fine. Hell, there’s no reason for them not to be fine. They’re embracing me for who and what I am. And I want to thank them for lettin’ me be myself.

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