Uptick in Antics

Ah, so here I am again skipping days with my posts! We shall begin the catch-up where I left off last time: the World Cup!

We gathered for a big dinner around 10 p.m. on Saturday for the match between England v. Italy. We had pizza, cured meats, vegetables, and plenty of Moretti beer. When we were stuffed, we were joined by more guests where we each took a seat in the living room. We were supposed to watch the game outside, with the projector, but my cousins couldn’t get the audio to work.

It was exhilarating to have people around me so invested in this match. I have always enjoyed the sport, and have been a fan of the Azzurri team ever since I could remember, but it was a special moment for me in that room. I was surrounded by electricity, the intrinsic passion for the team. It was intoxicating. If you watched the match you know that it was a nail-biter. But the Azzurri came out on top for their first 2014 World Cup victory.

The game ended at 2 in the morning here, and although very tired I stayed up until 3, which made for a very sleepy Sunday.

Monday morning my cousin took me to the Abbey in Casamari. Casamari is a neighboring town and the abbey there is almost a thousand years old. It was built in 1035. The church was preparing for some festival this weekend. Gorgeous church, vastly different from the ornate churches that sprinkle Italy’s big cities. I enjoyed seeing it.

After visiting the Abbey, I asked my cousin if we could stop at a bookstore. I am a big Harry Potter fan and the idea occurred to me that it might help me learn Italian faster/better if I read the first book in Italian. I know Harry Potter so well that I could add context to the words and focus on the grammar and technique of the translation. The first bookstore we tried didn’t have the first book, so we went over to neighboring Carnello (the town my dad was born in) and I found the first book there. From there we stopped at the school my aunt teaches at. The school year just finished so the elementary school was being cleaned out. It was so tiny! What an interesting thing to see in a foreign country.

I then spent most of my afternoon translating words from the Harry Potter book. It’s taking longer than i thought because when books are written in Italian they use a special tense, and I’m not too familiar with the rules of the tense. I hope to complete the first chapter and then reread the first chapter fluidly. It’s still enjoyable and that air of whimsy that J.K. Rowling is perfect at seeps through even in the translation.

In the late afternoon we brought the white kitten who I’ve posted plenty of pictures about, to the vet. Another place you wouldn’t find yourself as a tourist going to. There was no receptionist, and the office just had dogs hanging about in corners and whatnot. The wait was quite long. We brought the kitten to the vet because he has a cold. The vet examined him, took his temperature, gave him a shot, and told us to come back on Wednesday for a second shot and check-up on his condition.

Later in the evening we watched the Ghana v. USA game. I was so tired that I decided to get ready for bed 15 minutes before the game finished, so essentially I missed most of the action. At least I kept checking Twitter for the updates. USA won 2-1.

As today is Tuesday, in the morning my cousin and I visited the market again. I bought some souvenirs¬†for my friends and because I’ve accumulated so much change I offered to pay for the ciambella. I still have plenty of change.

After lunch I helped my cousins wrangle the other set of kittens, the smaller ones. I believe they were giving them away.

So that’s it for now. I heard talk that I may be going to Monte Cassino soon, but I am uncertain. Enjoy the pictures as always!

The front of the Abbey
The front of the Abbey
Inside the Abbey
Inside the Abbey
The sky outside of the vet clinic
The sky outside of the vet clinic
Where we got the ciambelle from! You can see one in the left corner.
Where we got the ciambelle from! You can see one in the left corner.

Italy and the World Cup.

I’ve been quiet the past few days because there’s not much to say when you are living a home-life. It’s just been wake-up, breakfast, study my Italian, eat lunch, aid with chores, eat dinner, shower and sleep. It’s much like it is at home for me.

The interesting part of this experience is I’ve learned how Italians lead their lives everyday. The mail here is delivered by vespa. They have several different types of trash to separate to and they bring it to a community dumpster. To use the shopping cart at the supermarket they have to get a key from the information desk to unlock it from the rack. They don’t eat sandwiches but rather wrap cheese around a piece of fresh bread.

I could continue as there are plenty of little tidbits about everyday life. It’s really a gift being here, to learn and to live.

It’s also exciting to be in a country that is so invested in the World Cup. Tonight is the first match for Italy against England. It airs here at midnight. We’ve been watching the matches at the house which has been fun. I enjoy the sport even if I can’t determine all the plays at hand and when exactly something is a foul and such, but it is a beautiful game to watch.

I hope Italy does well tonight, I’ve already got my Italia jersey on!

#ForzaAzzurri!

World Cup team!

A full week!

I left for Italy from America on the States’ Memorial Day Holiday, a full week later and I am still here on an Italian holiday. Today was Festa della Repubblica in Italy. We celebrated by pretty much doing the same thing we did yesterday, so as far as recanting a magical experience in the bucolic countryside, well, none of that today. But as long as your concerned, it feels magical to be up here in the mountains, under the Azzurre sky, and enjoying the company of family and new friends.

I helped with chores, sat in the sun, changed my Facebook and phone language to Italian, and overall had another restful day.

One thing I really love about life here is the informality of it. A lot of Italian food is messy, and you know this if you’ve ever sat down to eat a bowl of spaghetti and slurped the strands of sauce covered yumminess so that half of it ended up on the corners of your mouth instead. No one judges you for using your hands to help grasp a piece of meat. It’s relaxing.

Anyway, that is all for tonight, I’m aiming to wake up at a decent time!

Lunchtime for the kittens
Lunchtime for the kittens
Ho circondato da bellezze!
Ho circondato da bellezze!