Another spectacular day

This is the view from our apartment which we are quite enjoying. And boy have we lucked out with the weather- wow!Dinner last night with Elia's to-be in laws was such fun; full of happiness, love and warmth. There was a bag of Legos the size of an extra-large carry on, and despite the children having no more than 10 words in the same language in common, the bricks were a grand equalizer and they all played happily for nearly 5 hours. 20120329-135729.jpg My Italian has come back surprisingly well, and I've had some lovely conversations with local vendors and other folks. Being conversant, even in the most basic way, adds such depth to travel abroad. It supplants part of the touristic otherness with something more personal and real. When in countries with languages totally foreign to me -Germany! Hungary! Czech Republic!- I always feel so impotent, as if I'm a seed being blown about by the wind, lacking any and all control, rather than a more solid structure. You can be as zen as you want to be about it, but I like to try and live as the locals do, as under the stranieri radar as possible, and I am immensely grateful for the myriad opportunities, meager and more solid, linguistic abilities have facilitated.

I did, towards the end of the evening when everyone was exhausted by the mental effort of translating and cobbling together words and phrases -forget the verb conjugations!- tell Michele's family in trying to assuage their fears about gators in the bayou behind my parents' home in Louisiana that "we are a gun/rifle" rather than "we have one." Ah well!

Last pic: the arch in the Piazza della Repubblica.


Peeps, my parents don't really have a rifle. You call the sheriff and he brings his and takes care of the gator if it's too big to relocate. This is all true!