italia è pieno di pazzi

This weekend was easy and relaxed.  Friday I sent an SMS to Ilario because I knew he was going to REDBULL FIGHTERS, a motocross event at the Stadio Olimpico that night, so I asked him if he would be returning to Fontechiari in the morning and if he could bring me with him.  He of course offered without a problem, told me to meet him at 11:30 at Anagnina and we would be home in no time!  So Saturday morning I woke up early for some reason, packed my things and went to have a cappuccino and a cornetto integrale at the café I went to daily.  I sat outside reading my book, sipping my cappuccino and munching on my cornetto until 10:12am then I began my journey to Anagnina.  I didn’t know how long it would take me, so I left early because I didn’t want Ilario to be waiting for me. 

Obviously I arrived at Anagnina VERY early, 20 minutes of 11, so I had some time to kill.  I walked around the station for a little, then decided to send another SMS to Ilario because he might have been there already… who knows.  So I asked where I should meet him, he said wherever I wanted then asked if I had arrived, I told him I just arrived and he immediately called me and came to find me because he had also arrived early.  We kissed each other when we found each other then walked to the car where two of his friends were waiting.  I had met one before, si chiama Valerio, and his brother Andrea was driving us back so I said Ciao, piacere e grazie to them both and we were off to Fontechiari.  It was a kind of awkward drive, but Ilario and I were able to make some conversation, him speaking in English, me attempting to respond in Italian.  I feel like its getting harder and harder some how! Its crazy. PAZZO!

We arrived in Fontechiari around 12:30, the boys dropped me off at ILario’s house, then Ilario brought me up to Muto.  Molto gentile.  He also offered to take me out with him and his friends that night, and said he would send me an SMS piu tardi but that it would be around 10:00 that we left (aka my bed time).  Anyways I was happy to be going out with some people!

When I arrived at Muto, Nonna and Nonno were there lying out in their respective chairs just enjoying being outdoors.  Nonna almost immediately got up and took me into the kitchen to give me something to eat after saying hello, and then she explained how its been almost too cold for her to eat lunch outside because its so windy around mezzogiorno.  Anyhow, she shoved a piece of delicious pizza down my throat that had zucchini, tomatoes and cheese on it and was from il forno, I thought that was going to be my lunch so I was content to eat it, but then she pulls out a bag of abbacchio and starts laying it on a rack to take out to the fire that I had failed to see she had started when I arrived.  20 minutes later we sat down to eat the real lunch.  She shoved two pieces of abbacchio down my throat, loaded my plate with fagioli and made me eat 75% of the insalata she had made.  I guess I didn’t really mind being fed well because I barely eat that much all week because I fail at cooking, but boy was I PIENO afterwards.  So full that I had to take a nap, and I fell fast asleep in Nonna’s chair outside and got a wonderful t-shirt tan.  When I woke up I decided to go on a run, but I was stopped by some visitors who I can’t remember their names.  But one had just had a cute little baby, 3 months old, Nicola, and he had a gorgeous head of flowing dark curls.  We chatted with them for a while, Nonna and Nonno telling some interesting stories about Nonno falling in the pond at the farm and having to pull him out with a tractor, and another time where he cut a piece of skin off of his arm right on the veins near his wrist by accident and he told Nonna to prendi le forbice e taglia, take the scissors and cut the flap of skin that was coming off… GROSS. Glad she said no and he went to the hospital to get it stitched! The woman with the baby told a funny story about her aunt who had lived in the states for a while (we had been talking about dialect) because Nonna and Nonno kept saying in goppa? Which apparently meant sopra, up, they kept saying it all day going en goppa, so I was making fun of their dialect… and this woman told a story about her aunt telling her to locka la porta (lock the port) instead of chiuda la porta.   So entertaining the mixing of napoletana, inglese e la ciociaria dialetto.

The women left by 5:00 and then I decided to get up and finally go on a run and then do a whopping 10 push-ups.  Killer. I cooled off walking around for a little bit, it was getting pretty chilly as the sun was going down, then I took a shower.  When I got out Gino Muscedere was down talking with Nonna and Nonno, so I went to say hello.  Soon after this guy from up the hill a little ways comes down and joins us and asks for beer.  I could tell Nonna was irritated with him because I guess that morning he had come by saying his car had broken down so he couldn’t go into Brocostella for coffee and asked Nonna for some instead, along with a pack of cigarettes.  She wasn’t thrilled, it was the first time I guess she had seen this man and years, and then he came twice in a day asking for things… she was sketched out by him, and so was I, and we said he could have one tiny glass of beer and if he asked for anything else we would refuse him.  Nonna and I went inside hoping he would leave, he talked with Nonno for another 15 minutes or so, then finally left. He is one bizarre dude, so sketchy.

Anyways dinner time rolled around, and for dinner the nonni weren’t hungry, Nonna had a yogurt, Nonno forgot about dinner because he was down keeping Giuan (Giovanni, down at the foot of our street) company because Gineta had gone to the hospital that morning, and I made myself a delicious caprese salad. Nom nom nom. Then Nonna and I sat outside for a little until I went to go get ready to go out… by 9:00 my eyes were on there way to being permanently closed… so I got ready then went in the kitchen to make myself a small pot of espresso, boy did that make me feel Italian, haha.  Nonno returned from down the street with no news, and we sat there chatting about all the terrible dialect words I was learning.  Nonna then began to make a conscious effort to use proper Italian for a few minutes, it was very entertaining.  By 5 of ten they were ready to go to bed, they started closing up the downstairs, and Ilario arrived right on time, preciso he said as we looked at the clock in the car reading 10:00. Bravo!  I left the nonni and Ilario and I were off to Sora to look at the makings of the flower art in the street for the festa of domus corpus that was happening Sunday.  We went to go pick up Ilario’s friends, Valerio and Marta, then we headed to the Corso in Sora.

In Sora, the streets were packed, everyone doing their passegiate. I somehow forgot to bring my camera, so I couldn’t document it, but there were just bags and bags and bags of dried flowers of every color lining the Corso, and children small and big, adults, and people of every age helping to make their churches design in the middle of the street with the flowers.  It was a sight to see.  It was probably 11:00 and half of them were half done, so I can only imagine how late these people stayed up in into the night finishing the artwork.  Ilario and Valerio seemed to know every other person we passed while we did our passegiata and it reminded me of how in Wayland I can’t go anywhere without running into someone I know.  We met up with some more of Ilario’s friends then made plans to go pick up Marta’s car and then pick up the rest of his friends and go to a bar D’André in Broccostella to kill some time before going to Isola di Liri. At the bar I had a “Pellarossa Apple” drink.  Some apple flavored thing with ginger ale.  It was pretty good.  After one drink we headed off to Isola (these kids were always on the move).  Isola was packed when we got there at 12:45, we saw the end of a performance, Marta, myself and two other girls (can’t remember their names) went to go get a drink from a bar.  I spoke in English with the two girls because they wanted to see if they could understand me. Speaking VERY slowly one was able to understand the majority of my conversation, but the other one barely anything! So weird!

Santa Ristituta
 Around 1:30, Ilario, Valerio, another girl and I were ready to go, siamo stati molto stanchi, and they were craving late night cornetti! OH BOY. I wanted to resist the urge to buy one, but I had to, everyone was doing it.  The cornetto place was on the way home, it was called Ziegol or something of that matter, and it had a pretty large crowd outside.  Ilario got a crepe, Valerio got a cornetto with half white chocolate half cream, and us two girls got it with nutella.  They stuff them right there for you, and give them to you hot! Amazing, and Amazingly MESSY.  Half my nutella poured out on to the street with my first bite, half went on my face, I didn’t feel too embarrassed because the girl with us had it worse off, the nutella pouring down her hands! Yikes!  I ate most of the cornetto, so light, fluffy and warm, then threw the last part away and went to wash my hands in the fountain. Then we were off to our beds :o)
In bed by 2:10, I had a surprisingly hard time falling asleep… mannaggia la miseria, those damn second waves of energy! However soon after I did fall asleep and it felt like no time had past before Nonna was nudging me to wake up at 8:30 to go into Sora for mass and to see the flowers.

Made myself a cappuccino and two eggs, I ate outside, got ready then drove the Nonni in to Sora in the Uno-45.  It was kind of a struggle, and a little scary because the breaks don’t seem to work great, and lack of power steering is definitely a struggle when backing out from under the fig tree and trying to avoid the ditch on the side of the road…. Ahh!

Nonno & Nonna Relaxing

I couldn’t understand 6 words at mass at Santa Ristituta, but then we walked around looking at the completed flower art and it was a beautiful morning.  Some of the art was VERYYYYYY impressive.  We stopped at the supermarket on the way home, dropped the recycling off in the bin down on the side of the road, drove up to Fontechiari (SCARY) to see if there were people out and if they had done the flowers too, but Fontechiari was deserted, then we returned home to make lunch, eat lunch, nap and do nothing.  Lunch consisted of delicious fettuccine with red sauce, meatballs, oven roasted zucchini and a salad.  Fabrizia called with news that she will be coming at the beginning of August, Nonna’s smile grew ever bigger :D And now here I am at 5:00, writing this blog in a word document on the patio of Via Muto, 12, because there is no Internet.  The wind is starting to calm down.  It’s cool enough for pants and a shirt, it’s amazing how much cooler it gets here at night than in Roma.    Birds are chirping, scent of lavender is emanating from the large overgrown bushes, and the nonni are happily relaxing in their respective chairs.  I expect Nonna is about to get up and force me to eat something before Adriano and Patrizia come by to take me with them to Sora and back to Roma, so I’ll hop to it myself before she gets up!


A dopo!