Friday, August 10, 2012

it might be salsa friday

It is Friday, right? I guess I'll know tomorrow if today was Friday because Mike won't be wearing a suit. Or maybe he will. Just for fun.

I, on the other hand, am wearing a scrunchie. Do you remember that episode in Sex and the City when Carrie was dating Burger and she read his book and laughed at him because he said a NY woman was wearing a scrunchie and he got all crabby and sullen (Burger was such a cry baby)? In Rome, women don't care if banana clips had their brief shining moment 30 some years ago. They will throw their hair up any old way they choose and feel FINE. And look good. And that has inspired me to leave my hair exactly the way it was after I washed my face this morning, ie pulled back in some random mismash with a scrunchie. I'm bringing scrunchies back. When you see them in Milan's next Fashion Week, just remember that you heard it here first.

Yesterday I did three things I had been frightened of, one on purpose, two by accident and you know what? it worked out just fine. On purpose, I looked up directions to a large grocery store. I like our market and all, but there's a lot of questions that have to be asked there like, "How much?" and then I can't understand the answer anyway, so it's hard. Plus, I wanted to buy Ziplock bags and air-tight containers. Things get stale/funky here very quickly because of the heat and I am tired of having to cut my sugar with a fork and knife to put a chunk into my espresso and having the breakfast cake go stale in one day.  And how fun is a country that thinks cake and cookies are an acceptable breakfast?
breakfast. in america they are cookies, but when in -oops, i already promised not to use that phrase again.

So I used my walking directions map, which I have been scared to use(see post about walking for four hours because of getting lost) and Jack and I made it to the grocery store.Without a problem. We even crossed the street Italian style, walking directly in front of cars and refusing to hurry even when the car might hit you. I have seen this practice and expressed dismay over people pushing strollers that I was certain would be killed, but Mike assured me that was normal and that if these mothers were running across the street to protect their babies from traffic, it would just confuse the drivers of the cars.

The grocery store literally took up three city blocks and is called a "SuperSma." And that made me think it might be like Target, but it was not. It just meant it has a much larger seafood and cheese section. There were four aisles devoted to pasta. Just boxed pasta. Another three aisles were devoted to various ingredients to make your own pasta and pizza dough from scratch. And one aisle was devoted to underwear.Unfortunately, Ziplock bags have not yet been invented in Rome because everyone buys fresh food. But I did find some twist tie bags left over from 1962, so I bought those. And a tray for the oven. And an ice cube tray. While I was paying, one of my other fears materialized. The cashier told me how much I owed. It sounded a lot like nothing I could understand. I looked hopefully at Jack, but he was busy not looking at me. "How much?" I asked in English, feeling like a jerk. The cashier silently touched a button and numbers appeared on a screen, Numbers I could read. Numbers that would not require  much change on the part of the cashier. I handed her an appropriate bill and then she said something else. I must have looked stricken because she smiled and held up five fingers and asked if I had five cents so she could give me less change. I shook my head and said, "No, sorry." Because I'm in Italy.  I'm that person who insists on speaking her native language and expects everyone else who speaks the correct language for the country to understand me. However, the cashier smiled again and responded with prego when i said grazie.

"I knew what she asked you," Jack announced on the way home. "You did?!? Why didn't you tell me???" "Because I didn't know if you knew or not."

On the way home, another fear came to light. A woman driving a car stopped and asked me for directions. Again I looked to Jack and again he was pretending he didn't know me. "Mi dispiace ma non parlo Italiano, " I said. But of course it took me too long to fumble my way through that and she had already waved her hand at me and driven away halfway through my stammer. However, that didn't take away from the fact that I said it and I had been so worried that I would have to say it and now I had done it. Even though Jack told me I really needed to practice more. He and I had endlessly practiced it while at the playground, but repeating it after Jack is much different from saying it to a stranger who is Italian.

boooring. you should write more about dogs.

how cute is the woman driving the scooter in her orange dress?

Coca-cola Light is better than Diet Coke because I'm pretty sure it says right on the bottle that  it is like a unicorn with no calories.


papersatchel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
papersatchel said...

i eat cake for breakfast here, too, but we don't have zero calorie unicorns! is jack completely fluent now? he should just do all the talking. really, it will save you so much anxiety! what else did you find at the grocery store? have you lit your stove yet?
can't wait to visit!

papersatchel said...

not sure why my comments keep appearing in multiples... sorry!

akt said...

Although Jack is not fluent, the Italians seem to find him so delightful that they understand everything he says. He keeps promising to be my translator, but when i have to speak, he just stage whispers, "Say your line! Say your line!" My line is whatever we have worked on that day while he swings at the playground. I never remember it. He can, however, get us home when I don't know whether we turn left or right.

I will not be lighting the stove.

Unfortunately, even though the grocery store is roughly the size of the Giant, it is really just many aisles of : pasta, ingredients to make pasta, underwear, cheese, octopus, breakfast cookies, fizzy water and Cocoa Cola Light.

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