Sono Stanco (Part 1)
I am tired. And hungover. And starving to death. And if the people outside my window don’t shut up, I am seriously going to go old Italian housewife on their ass and dump a bucket of mopwater on their heads from my balcony.
BUT, it was all worth it, as will become apparent from my LONG day yesterday (Thursday):
Wake up (Don’t hate, the days of me waking up at 7 AM are far behind me). Rue the fact that I ate way too much last night at Coco Pazzo and then at the gelato place with Marco and his friend. Remember how annoyed you were with Marco for speaking with his friend in Italian the entire time and not talking to me.
Stumble into the bathroom, which doesn’t have a working light, which means I have to open one of the windows to see, which opens directly onto the the walkway between three apartments, so, I have to pray it’s not laundry day, or those old ladies get a free show.
Finish taking my shower, which isn’t really a shower, since it’s a shower nozzle on a hose attached to the faucet. It’s kind of a shower, but sitting down, and with mostly tepid water, and using the gross coconut smelling Garnier Fructis I bought because I didn’t realize it translated into “gross pina colada smelling shampoo+conditioner.” But, since it costs 7 euros, I’m using it ALL.
Finish cleaning the bathroom, which involves mopping the floor thanks to the shower nozzle spraying everywhere since there isn’t a curtain around the tub, and my roommate is obsessive-compulsive (in addition to her manic-depression). It also involves pouring bleach into the toilet bowl (I have no idea why), ensuring the sink is dry, and no stray hairs have made their way anywhere close to the cabinet or floor.
Express anger at myself, because all I want is a fucking Coca-cola, because now I am crazy addicted to sugar and caffeine again, undoing almost a year’s worth of detox.
Express anger at the Italians and their lack of dryers, which results in clothing that is incredibly wrinkly, and I steadfastly refuse to iron my t-shirts…that’s just craziness.
Finish dressing in clothes that are clearly WAY too big for me now, even though I just bought these previously tight jeans, and these shirts are American sized mediums that have shrunk. In Italy, I still look like a schlub. [Though, a quick note to those who think Italians are ridiculously stylish… Yes, for some this is true, but, there are just as many that you just wonder if they owned a mirror] Had I known, I would have bought everything in an extra-small, and added various glitter and rhinestone appliques in an effort to fit in here.
Realize I am going to be late for a date in Piazza Castello at 1:00 PM, and now have to book it in my cute outfit basically uphill the whole way through Via Po.
Smile, as I do every time I cross the bridge over the River Po into Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the largest piazza in all of Europe without a monument, with it’s beautiful porticoes, outdoor bars, and color-changing lights at night.
OMG I want a fucking COKE!
Decide to suck down an espresso with three sugar packs in it instead.
Meet Dave (yes, I know…) who was quite insistent upon meeting me for lunch. I’m not proud of it, but if Italians like to buy me things like drinks and lunches and dinners so as to seem very hospitable…I can’t say no. I’m too poor to turn down free food, even if it is from a 38 year-old who lives in a small village thirty minutes from Turin. Dave is very nice and hospitable, like all of them, but I do not feel even slightly attracted to him, which makes me feel guilty and start feigning interest in the conversation. However, try as I might, the conversations (with everyone) are EXACTLY the same, even if I change the subject over and over again:
Scene I – An overly-styled, and over-priced sushi bar
Daniel: Come va?
Dave: Bene, tu?
Dave (and every other italian in the world):
Why are you living in Turin (said with disbelief AND suspicion)? Why not Rome or Florence? Do you like Turin?
[insert effusive praise for their fine city and disgust for tourists, most of which is the truth, and at which they smile and tell me all about Turin’s storied history for a good thirty minutes, and how few americans they have seen in Turin.]
Where are from in America? What city?
[At this point, I start lying, because I am tired of explaining what Atlanta is like and where it is, because they have no concept of the South and that lifestyle…. suburbs, cars, babies, gigantic and hideous strip malls, etc. So I tell them I live in NYC in the west village, which is about as European as you can get in America, and at which they express approval and offer forth various tidbits about NYC that they know….usually about a cousin that lives there, and why don’t I have an accent (“Because I’m educated”)]
[If they have been to America, insert long aside describing in detail where they have been (“um, yes, I know where LA is..”), when, how much the hated it or liked it, who they went with, what italian restaurants they went to…ad nauseum]
Do you like Italian food? It’s the best in the world, right? Do you like gelato? Have you had it yet? It is the best ice cream in the world, right? You have to try (insert random gelato place here, usually GROM or Fiore)’s gelato. [I don’t know why there are always food questions, but of course I like Italian food and gelato…]
What is your job in Turin? How long will you stay? Are you going to move here? Why did you leave America?
And various other permutations of these questions…most of which I lie about. “I teach private English lessons. I will be here six months at least (which is a total lie…but to them sounds more permanent than two months) Yes, if I find a reason to stay (hint, hint) Because I was bored with my life, and I was tired of the American need to be unhappy as a state of being. (this takes another thirty minutes of explaining, punctuated with my rundown of the differences between americans and italians, at which they always nod their heads vigorously in agreement)”
Do you like Italian men? We are the world’s best lovers, no (said with a knowing grin of course)?
[Ugh, I hate this question. First, because of the ***** men I have slept with, ***** of them have NOT been the world’s best…far from it. And, of course, I have to again express effusive praise, and yes, Americans love Italians and their mythic love skills, lest his carefully crafted Italian ego shatter before my very eyes. But, I am also not a 19yo blonde coed on her first trip abroad either buddy…]
What have you done in Turin? Have you been to ______? You must go _______?
[Insert another thirty minutes of Turin history, tourism updates and suggestions. Most of which I lie about again. “Why, no! I haven’t been to the Mole? Where is it? I heard it was great! Tell me more!” This is because the Torinese LOVE to talk about their city. They NEVER bitch about it, other than parking, and can talk about it for hours! It’s actually quite refreshing, since I could just as easily bitch about Atlanta, specifically racial conflict, for days on end. But, it always makes me smile at how proud they are of their city, and how far it has come in the past several years.]
Do you know FIAT? You know they bought Chrysler right? Do you like cars? Do you have a car?
[This is akin to talking about coke (GOD I WANT ONE NOWWWW….WHY OH WHY ARE YOU 4 FUCKING EUROS, COCA-COLA…I HATE YOU SO MUCH) in Atlanta. And at which I try to express that Chrysler is a shitty car company, and that the FIAT cars better be fabulous and bigger than they are here, or no one is going to buy them…]