It's five days since arriving in Tuscany. Everyone has their horror stories about travel, and I guess I'm no different. From the airline giving away my seat on their connecting flight still at the gate and still boarding, to lost luggage (and no clothes for two days) and missed trains which resulted in missed buses which resulted being stranded, in the dark, late at night, with no one to talk to to ask a question. Sounds pretty routine but very distressing when you've just flown for 15 hours. The long and the short of it is that we made it, and I am grateful for my two travel companions Sharon and Jackie who kept me from jumping off the edge of a cliff. I am also grateful that I decided to take my iPhone and was able to call the man who was to pick us up and talk him into driving to Lucca to get us. He speaks no English, and insists in speaking in rapid Italian at me to the point I had to ask him to wait (aspetta), to please slow down (and I used an incorrect adjective) and speak simple Italian to me. Didn't work.
My daughter had said to me before I left, "you know Mom, you're NOT going to just land in Italy and start talking Italian you know. It's been a long time." Well, wrong Alyssa, I DID have to begin speaking Italian immediately upon arrival and according to the people in the village it's not that bad. I am critically aware that i choose the wrong noun here and there, and I am certain I am using the incorrect conjugations, but it's amazing how much you can say prefaced by "do you know" or "I would like" or "I need". Today I had a full on conversation at the grocery store with the girl behind the counter, had a full on conversation with the butcher and then the woman in line with me. She insisted (in Italian of course) that Italian is simple to learn, just start slowly, listen, read, then speak. I wish it were that easy.
The village is very small and easy to navigate. One hour here and you've seen the sights. The people are very nice and it is very quiet and sleepy.
I began my cookie experiment day two, and was surprised to watch the expressions on people's faces. Except for two grumpy old men, everyone registered surprise, took a bite and said thank you! Today, the butcher thanked me for the biscotti (generic term for cookie) and for the card. He said that the town all knew about me (us) now and would "always remember". How cool is that.
Internet is unpredictable here, and I only got it yesterday by travelling to Lucca to buy an Internet stick. Never mind that they forgot to activate it - they eventually figured it out and called to tell me. All is well.
Tomorrow is a festival here. Not sure what that means but it is to celebrate the chestnut, for which this region is famous. I understand there will be food, drink and all that. Then Tuesday there will be a procession through town with people dressed in Medieval costumes. I will take pictures and post them, once I figure out how to do this on the tiny PC I brought. I'm also grateful I brought this little notebook computer since my Internet stick does not seem to work on the MAC.
Life is good. As soon as I figure out a few things I will post some pictures. Wait till you see how beautiful it is, albeit tiny.