Time really does keep on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future! I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed. Where does the time go? Seriously. When we left the comfy agriturismo after two weeks of residence, we felt like we had barely just arrived. How is it that when we were kids the two weeks until summer break ticked off like an eternity, but as adults the same 14-day period soars past us like nobody’s business?
The only drawback to our beautiful mountaintop hideaway was the lack of reliable internet connection. I’ve saved up notes about all the wonderful places we visited and kind people we encountered, but haven’t been able to post them yet. Ah well; as they say in Italy, “piano piano…con calma”. I’ll get them posted someday in the near future.
Meanwhile, we arrived back in Ascoli Piceno with a week-long calendar chalked up with appointments to meet friends, have rounds of dinners and drinks and coffees. We have been walking around marveling yet again at the wonderfulness of this place we have called home, wondering why its still so undiscovered, but yet a little glad it is still all “ours”.
We have been taking photos of people and places that, somehow in more than 2 ½ years, we managed to not capture on film (or digital, as the case may be), and eating our fill of the local specialties.
The place is the same, yet it has changed. Sadly, we have noticed that several shops have closed in just the few months we’ve been away, and we’ve been told that several factories and small business operators have shuttered as well. Several of our friends are reporting difficulties with their businesses. La crisi economica is on everyone’s lips and worried minds.
And yet the spirit remains the same. The passeggiata is still paraded, the piazza is still packed every evening, and the caffes have their usual flow and rhythm. The bands and flag-throwers are practicing, readying themselves for La Quintana, which starts in July. The girl who hits up everyone for cigarettes is still on the prowl; Rita is still circling town on her bicycle yelling who-knows-what at the passersby; the Don King look-alike is still hanging around. All the personaggi (town characters) are in their predictable places, as much a part of the landscape as ever. And so are we. We are back in our usual haunts, feeling right back at home.
Which may not such a good idea. It may make it harder to leave, not knowing exactly when we will return. Everyone is asking us for a date, a time frame they can count on when they’ll see us again, and we are unable to say for certain. We are only able to say definitively that we’ll be back again. Hopefully the months of our absence will march on and pass as quickly as these past few months have. Time’s a tickin’.