Memorie Italiane (part 2)…

I loved my stay in Firenze back in 1999 and you know how hedonistic everyone became because of the Y2K meltdown that was gonna be the end of economies all over the world and of course the mandatory jumping off of roofs because of the certainty the world would end… yada yada yada. We were just rompin’ around Firenze eating good food, drinking cappuccino, walking miles and miles, looking at beautiful frescoes and slowly wishing there was someone that spoke our language. The initial isolation of not being able to communicate was refreshing because you can’t understand what you overhear other people saying. So whilst enjoying my 3rd coffee of the morning, instead of overhearing the 18 year old seminary student from down the road pontificate about his certainty of all things holy to his companion or the clutch of young women at a nearby table dishing the dirt on their coworkers, all I could ascertain was an endless stream of Italian babble that could have been espousing the meaning of life or the intricate details of their cel phone plan… who knows? The apartment that we rented was upstairs and directly below was a coffee shop. Angelo was the proprietor and I started the day every day with coffee there… of course the Italians weren’t much for sitting at a table and drinking like us Americanos, they just pop in, order an espresso, chat for about a minute, down the espresso in one swig and leave. I would sit at the only table nursing my coffees and reading. There was a young girl that worked for Angelo and eventually she revealed to me that she was American and she had come over on a summer art program and went native. I had already been there for weeks when I found this out and she went on to tell me that Angelo was a communist (oh dear! just like Obama) and that he thought Ig and I were gay… so I guess this rampant homophobia is not restricted to the good ol’ USA. Anyway, I started thinking of my past attempts at conversations with Angelo, who I had figured out was from Sicily originally (like my grandfather), and I tried to relate in my broken Italian that my grandfather was from Palermo. Later on I got out my dictionary and it seems I may have used the word for boyfriend instead of grandfather (not sure) but even so Ig is Chinese and it was very unlikely he was from Palermo. I found out that what I did have in common with Angelo was Van Morrison. He loved Van more than anyone I had ever met and he had a few cassette tapes that he would play over and over but he seemed to be limited in where/how he could get more. I managed one day to get out of him that he had the ability to record a tape from a CD and the next day loaned him about a half dozen Van CD’s that he didn’t have. From then on we were tight and his demeanor toward me changed. Of course if he had seen me around town with my teeth he might have changed his mind back…


Here’s some mugs I posted to Etsy yesterday, first click to Etsy, the other enlarges…




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7 Responses to “Memorie Italiane (part 2)…”

  1. Ignatius Widiapradja Says:

    What a fun time that was!! I miss living there. Might have to find a way to stay there again during my next sabbatical leave, even it is just for a month.

  2. Michael Says:

    What’s up with the teeth and the horse?

  3. Michael Says:

    Thanks, I looked for it. but I guess I didn’t rewind far back enough.

  4. meredith Says:

    Oh those teeth have been around the block or two.
    I have a brother-in-law who loves to pop in his “billy bob” teeth and have some fun.
    He did so while we were out with a crowd at dinner one night and drove the waitress nuts.
    She finally threw up a hand at him and said. “i don’t speak southern!”
    Now- what the hey was that about.
    But this was about you not me.
    Love you memories…..
    And mugs.

  5. ang Says:

    hehehe, you do look like a farm boy lost…did you ever take pics without the teeth?

  6. gary Says:

    Party animal…..

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