Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"No camminare" (Letter #3 from Italy, April 22)

I go to the “Centro Storico” (the village general store) first thing – my new morning routine. It’s proximity (only a few steps from our door) makes it a convenient pre-breakfast stop. I pick up a couple of tomatoes, some garlic, onion, canned tomato sauce, bread and cheese (stracchini – mild, creamy and delicious). I no sooner return home than I realize I have forgotten to buy butter (burro). In less than two minutes, I am able to make a return trip with butter in hand (1 Euro, 30 cents for half a pound:  a deal, we think, until we find a full pound in the city of Aulla for not much more than that. We buy it too. A person - if I am said person - can never have too much butter).

After breakfast, I return to the store again to ask if there is an Internet Café nearby. There is not. The nearest is in Aulla, approximately 30 minutes by train. We had planned on going to Aulla anyway, so I thank the few people who have chimed in to answer my question. Betta, who works at the store, seems concerned. “Treno, treno,” she says (train, train). “Si,” I respond. “No camminere,” (no walking) she says, shaking her head and marching on the spot, swinging her arms. I wonder if she and the other villagers have heard about yesterday’s adventure.

We head to Aulla for the afternoon, where we find one Internet Café but get spotty Internet. Oh well. We wander the streets a bit, taking our lives into our hands at times (Aulla has little regard for pedestrians – sidewalks, where they exist, are narrow and close to traffic, and crosswalks are more decorative than anything else). We stop for pizza supper and then take the train home. Francesca has been by and left a note on our door: “I passed by to see if all is ok. If you need Internet, you can come to my place and see your mail, no problem.” I suspect she has chatted with the villagers I talked to this morning. Once again, I can’t help but think we Canadians are the source of much entertainment. 

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