3 weeks ago I left home for a grand adventure. In a way it has been a planned adventure and in others…well not so planned puts it lightly. I have not thought of myself as a person that is super positive or one of those “look at the bright side” people. Here I realize that I can find a piece of beauty wherever I am. There is a beauty here not only found in the buildings and the landscape, but I should say more importantly found in the people.
There is such a sense of confidence in the Italian people. And they pass it on… ciao bella! I get to hear that every day. Sometimes it’s just once from my grocer friend, other times it’s sprinkled throughout the day. Whether it is out of jest or a simple hello, I get called beautiful every day. Hello confidence! Hello, I will try that new word that I hope I’m not pronouncing incorrectly and thus will be a word I do not want to say. Hello I will laugh at myself because you are laughing at my lack of Italian. Hello I will hum along to "La vie en rose" with you older man that is missing your front teeth. Hello beautiful Italy! And most of all…hello to your beautiful people who make me smile (even though it is weird to smile at people you don’t know).
If I could take pictures with my eyes to show you all I would, but for now I will just try to be as sneaky as possible. There are these kids that live somewhere in the square complex that I live in. They play football (aka soccer) by the trash cans and today it was throwing an American football with mom. The park by my school building has tons of kids. Before the start of their school they would play there about noon ‘til dinner time. Now they arrive around 5.30 and stay until dinner, around 8pm). The kids would even stay up playing ‘til 10 or 11pm at night at a local park! I love that the kids here play!
It’s true; the old ladies sit on benches and talk. And they look just as adorable as the scenes in the movies or the staged greeting cards. I have a friend whose goal, before she leaves in May, is to get to a point where she can sit on a bench and have a conversation with them. I have beat her to it…kind of. Last week I had an older couple come sit on the bench I was occupying (there is no personal space in Italy, but I didn’t mind). They had a pleasant conversation and even asked me a few questions about what I was studying.
The time is slow and simple, but the days speed past.