Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“There’s a new kid in town”–thank you, Eagles

So today turned into a  bust. After that grueling 32 mile bike ride, I was dead on my feet. I took a nap and still slept like a rock when I went to bed that night. Was it the three pounds of spaghetti and vino bianco locale? Who knows? I do remember feeling as I woke up that I was too weak to move.

Because of this, I didn’t visit Colonella. I didn’t do a whole lot of anything. Bought groceries. Did laundry. Whoopee. The life of a king.

Yes, the mundanities of life must be attended to even in Italia.

So then I got down on myself for not making more of the day. But it would have been hard to go out and walk Lord knows how much as I traipsed through yet another town. I was probably better off resting so I can enjoy Colonella when I do visit.

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There has been no activity from me for a few days. The weather has turned so I won’t be riding my bike in the rain. I made the effort to visit my family in Ascoli Piceno. My cousin’s wife, Daniela, is the sweetest thing you could ever hope to meet and she exhorts me to visit more often. She makes me feel so comfortable. I realized that, in my effort not to intrude on my family’s lives, I wasn’t visiting at all. So, I decided to go to Ascoli.

And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, this was beneficial, too. I learned the transportation system to Ascoli including the arrival and departure times. I learned the actual route so I can visit other cities along the way. And it got me out of the apartment after a couple of days of recuperating from too much health-related activity.

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Life continues unabated. I’ve had three tutoring classes so far. Today, I slyly suggested that the tutoring school should buy my books and use them as textbooks. Half the book revolves around Italy and involves a long-lost Italian son. I would think it would be interesting to the students and would encourage them to read.

Instead, my tutor proffered the idea for me to possibly teach at the school. We are going to consider it for awhile and see what the possibilities are.

It’s funny that my tutor would suggest such a thing. Even though it’s only late January, I had been thinking that I should really consider the reality that I will be returning for good in November. Work opportunities don’t seem to be available. Nothing guarantees that this conversation will turn to anything, but at least it gives me a glimmer of hope.

I am still having fits with my phone service and text messaging. I cannot make or receive phone calls now so I have to go to a different store to buy more gigabytes. I’m about ready to tear out my hair. But, I think I’ve found a savior in the name of Google.

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I have used Google Translate to help me in conversations. Google has recently improved its technology so that a person can now speak into the phone and receive a translation verbally and in written form. It’s only available for a handful of languages, including Italian. I just tried it out here at my favorite cafe. I decided to pig out and order TOO eclairs. I explained to the owner, Eugenio, that I needed to spoil myself. Google’s new technology allowed me to do that. The proprietor understood completely. I will use this when I get more phone and texting minutes. Maybe I will finally have this stuff figured out so that I’m not spending so much money.

If I can get my phone/internet/messaging service working properly, my life will be much easier. I am seriously considering a re-start of my service with Verizon and paying the extra amount to use it over here in Italy. At least I know it will work. Personally, I don’t know how this continent functions with such a lousy company as Vodafone. And Vodafone is the primary mobile phone company.

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Attention, America: Europe will never eclipse you. If it can’t create a decently functioning mobile phone company, then it’s doomed. Say what you want about the cost of cell phone service in America, but if you had the problems I’ve had, you would French kiss your American mobile phone dealer the next time you see him.

On Friday I leave for Palermo and I cannot wait. I am very bummed to know that it is supposed to rain the entire time I’m there. It will make it hard to walk around and sightsee. Someone suggested that I find a cafe, park my gluteus maximus and drink wine. It’s a plan.

So, I had to check the bus and train schedules for Rome since I’m flying out of Leonardo da Vinci Airport. Fortunately, there’s a very early bus that will arrive about two hours before my flight to Palermo. I’m anxious to go.

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It’s funny, but I’m already feeling at home here to the point where I wanna “get outta Dodge”. Just like back in Oregon. Back home I would find myself going stir crazy and I’d take off for the Oregon Coast or Central Oregon. I’m feeling that here now. Even though I love checking out these old towns with their rich history, I want to see more. Knowing that so much is available to me, piques my curiosity. I know I keep harping on it, but it’s because this desire is always in the back of my mind and it keeps jumping to the front of my mind.

And as the days and weeks pass I’m finding that I’m no longer as much of a curiosity in this town. I haven’t been asked for an autograph for several weeks. Maybe I need to go back to the club where I was getting asked.

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In the businesses that I frequent I am now seen as a regular. Occasionally, if I don’t bring my laptop, someone will point that out and ask why I’m not writing. I tell them I’m resting. I’m just not as interesting as I used to be, I guess. And that is fine. I have to admit that I do feel self-conscious walking around town with my laptop all the time. About the only place I don’t take my MacBook Pro is the grocery store and the health club.

There’s a new kid in town–me–and he’s been here for two months. But things are becoming familiar and constant. And I guess I am, too!

 

 

 

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